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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-08


Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-08


Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-05-08
Manager Joe Maddon has tried to avoid references to last season.

But after the Rays battled back to win Thursday's game, blowing 4-0 and 6-4 leads before rallying for the final time in the ninth inning off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, even he acknowledged things were starting to feel like 2008.

"Our guys are starting to believe again," he said.

After winning six of their last eight, the Rays are 14-16 and are starting to feel they've turned things around as they head to Boston for a weekend showdown with the Red Sox.

"It's a huge step forward," Evan Longoria said. "We saw a lot of good things on our last homestand as far as a come-from-behind win and playing into tie ballgames and able to come out on top. Those are things we did last year that made us so successful, and I think if we continue to do that, we're going to see a pretty drastic turnaround in the win-loss column."

Maddon spoke glowingly about the intensity in the dugout and acknowledged that the vibe is starting to feel the same as last year.

"We have to win games like that," he said. "I like the fact when we play with that type of intensity it brings out the best in all of us. It's like any other team that's doing well, you start feeding off of one another. It's a good feeling. We like that kind of game. And it's good to get back close to being on track."

RAYS 8, YANKEES 6: The Rays made history by hitting the first back-to-back homers Mariano Rivera allowed in his career, but more important was they also put together their first three-game winning streak of the season. Jeff Niemann had a shaky 3 1/3-inning start, but the Rays used five relievers to piece things together. Tampa Bay hit a team-record-tying six homers.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: May 8, 2009

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