Evan Longoria woke up feeling much better about Tampa Bay’s chances of rebounding against the Boston Red Sox.
Not that it will be easy to overcome a 2-0 deficit in the best-of-5 AL Division Series matchup that resumes tonight at Tropicana Field. But to have any chance of succeeding, the Rays star said players can’t dwell on being on the brink of elimination yet again.
It took winning three consecutive elimination games just to get into the division series. And now, it will take three more to beat Red Sox.
“I don’t think we let our guard down at all. I think we just got outplayed,” Longoria said Sunday. “At some point you’ve got to be able to admit that and turn the page and go to the next day.”
Alex Cobb, who beat Cleveland last Wednesday in the AL Wild Card Game, will carry the Rays’ hopes to the mound in Game 3. Right-hander Clay Buchholz will start for the Red Sox, who outscored Tampa Bay 19-6 in the opening two games at Fenway Park.
History doesn’t favor the Rays. Of the previous 22 AL teams that have lost the first two games of a division series, only four rallied to advance.
TIGERS: Jhonny Peralta will be in the lineup today for Game 3 of the AL Division Series against Oakland – his first home game since being suspended 50 games as part of baseball’s drug investigation.
Peralta returned for the last three games of the regular season and appeared as a pinch-hitter in Game 1 of this series.
Now manager Jim Leyland wants to try to boost his team’s offense, which has been blanked for 17 straight innings after a three-run first in the postseason opener.