Rays fall in extras on walk-off homer

Rays fall in extras on walk-off homer

PITTSBURGH -- Reliever Jason Hammel said it was a pitch that was supposed to be down and away. Instead, it was up and in.

And Pirates left fielder Jason Bay made him pay for it, with a deep blast to left-center field in the 13th inning to give the Pirates a 4-3 win over the Rays in front of a rain-soaked 17,970 at PNC Park.

"[I was] aggressive and I got hurt," Hammel said. "Ballgame over."

The hit ended a game that lasted three hours and 53 minutes. As if the game wasn't long enough, Saturday's 7:05 p.m. ET matchup was delayed 42 minutes because of a pregame rain delay.

"When you win a game like that, it's a tough win," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "When you lose a game like that, it's a tough loss."

The Rays were facing a Triple-A pitcher, making his 2008 Major League debut, for the second night in a row in Ty Taubenheim. The way the game began, it looked like it would play out much like Friday's game, when the Rays pounded rookie Jimmy Barthmaier for seven runs in 2 1/3 innings.

Tampa Bay scored on four pitches into the first frame. B.J. Upton, making his first appearance in the leadoff spot in 2008, led off with a single and moved to third on the next pitch, courtesy of Carl Crawford's single. Upton then scored on Evan Longoria's sacrifice fly.

But that's all the runs the Rays would get until the sixth inning, as Taubenheim settled down and shut down the Rays in his remaining five innings.

"He pitched really well," Maddon said. "After that first inning, we could have gotten two runs there. Then, he settled in. His ball was moving well. He pitched with a lot of poise."

The 13-inning battle overshadowed a strong performance from Rays starter Edwin Jackson, who threw a solid 6 2/3 innings, surrendering only three runs on six hits. He struck out three and walked two.

The Pirates evened it up in the second when first baseman Adam LaRoche brought in catcher Ryan Doumit with a groundout. The Bucs then took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on Taubenheim's unlikely RBI double.

"[Apparently], he's a pretty good hitter as well," Maddon said of Taubenheim.

But the Rays managed to tie it up at 2 when Dioner Navarro singled in Eric Hinske. Pirates pinch-hitter Doug Mientkiewicz answered Navarro's hit with an RBI double in the seventh.

Maddon then played the percentage game with Pirates left-handed specialist Damaso Marte on the mound in the eighth. Maddon pinch-hit right-hander Jonny Gomes for lefty Eric Hinske, and the move paid off.

After 14 pitches, Gomes sent Marte's 15th offering over the fence to tie the game at 3. Maddon called the at-bat Gomes' best of the year.

"I truly thought it was eight or nine [pitches]," Gomes said. "I kept battling. [I was the] leadoff hitter late in the game. I was just trying to get on base."

Both bullpens proceeded to play a game of chess through the next four innings before Bay's blast in the bottom of the 13th.

"It was a weird game," Gomes said.

The game ended the Rays' four-game road winning streak. They'll go for their 12th Interleague win of the year on Sunday.

Todd Krise is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.