Longoria helps Rays stave off elimination

David J. Phillip/AP Photo
Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria (left) and Carlos Pena celebrate after the Rays beat Texas to send the series back to St. Petersburg, Fla., for a decisive Game 5.

ARLINGTON, Texas --- Evan Longoria, Carlos Pena and the Rays are headed back to The Trop, one victory away from an improbable comeback.


Longoria snapped out of his postseason slump with a homer and two doubles, Pena scored twice with a pair of extra-base hits of his own and Tampa Bay escaped elimination again with a 5-2 victory Sunday over the Texas Rangers.

After losing the first two games of the American League Division Series at home, the Rays won both games in Texas to force a deciding Game 5 at Tropicana Field.

"I still want to believe there is a home-field advantage and hopefully that's going to show up," manager Joe Maddon said. "The extra game at home, I have been talking about it all along."

Rookie right-hander Wade Davis pitched into the sixth, getting out of a base-loaded jam in the fifth when he struck out Vladimir Guerrero. Former Atlanta Brave Rafael Soriano worked a perfect ninth for the save.

Tampa Bay, the AL's best team in the regular season, is trying to become the only team other than 2001 New York Yankees to advance to a league championship series after losing the first two division series games at home.

To do that they'll have to beat Rangers ace left-hander Cliff Lee, who matched a postseason best with 10 strikeouts in a 5-1 opening victory. The Rays send 19-game winner David Price to the mound Tuesday night in a rematch of the Game 1 starters.

"Get this series back to even, I like our chances with David back on the mound," Longoria said.

The series winner hosts Game 1 of the AL Championship Series on Friday night against Yankees.

New York swept the Minnesota Twins in three games, clinching the other division series with a 6-1 win Saturday night.

"It's down to one game, we've got Cliff going and certainly feel good about that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We have proved that we can win there."



Wed, 11/22/2017 - 18:34