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Rays hoping to draw on walk-off magic at Trop

Rays hoping to draw on walk-off magic at Trop

Rays hoping to draw on walk-off magic at Trop

ST. PETERSBURG -- Playing at Tropicana Field this year, the Rays had a true home-field advantage. A part of that could be seen in the team's ability to produce walk-off wins.

"It's not a thing you can rub on you," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It's something that you can feel. Somethings that can be contagious. Once one guy feels it, it catches one and you believe good things will happen for the team."

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Of the Rays' 51 victories at home, 13 came via walk-off wins, which tied their club record set in 2011.

"There's really just a never-say-die attitude," said Chris Archer when asked about the Rays' ability to come through in the clutch. "It stems from the coaching staff and just trickles its way down."

The Rays' first walk-off win came April 3 via a Matt Joyce home run, and the last one came Sept. 23 when the Rays beat the Orioles, 5-4, on a James Loney homer.

"Walk-off wins are great," Sam Fuld said. "I think it's a result of resilience."

Fuld pointed out that a team has to put itself in a position to win by a walk-off.

"No matter how long the game is, it's usually the result of good pitching," Fuld said. "The bullpen shutting the other team down. And whether you win in 18 innings, like we did earlier, or just a regular nine-inning walk-off. It's usually a result of just really good pitching and good defense. So it's no surprise that we tend to walk off quite a bit."

Fuld sounded surprised when told that the Rays had 13 walk-off wins in 2013.

"That seems like a lot," Fuld said. "But I remember two years ago, my first year here, I remember thinking, 'Man, this team walks off a lot.' And then I kind of realized it's probably a result of staying loose in high-pressure situations.

"[Former Rays outfielder] Johnny Damon was a classic example. He went up there with the game on the line and was as happy go lucky going up to the plate as he was in a Spring Training game. That's our nature in our clubhouse. Every one of us."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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