Unexpected hero, Nathan Haynes, propels Tampa Bay to a 5-4 victory over Red Sox


Unexpected hero, Nathan Haynes, propels Tampa Bay to a 5-4 victory over Red Sox

(April 25, 2008) –Originally entering the game as a pinch-runner for Carlos Pena, who pinch-hit for Jonny Gomes, in the bottom of the ninth, Nathan Haynes became the hero two innings later with a no-out single to right to score left fielder, Carl Crawford. Haynes’s single gave Rays reliever Scott Dohmann his first win of the season and brought Tampa Bay back to the surface with a 12-11 record.

Crawford led of the bottom of the inning with single off of Sox reliever Mike Timlin to left field. He, then, swiped second base with great ease on a 0-1 count to B.J. Upton putting the winning run in scoring position with no outs. Upton walked to give Haynes the chance to be the hero. The Sox were expecting the long time minor leaguer to lay down a bunt to move the runner along but he surprised everyone in the dome with a single just over the head of 5’9” second baseman Dustin Pedroia.

The Rays would get out to an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third inning when Upton drove in Crawford with a sacrifice fly ball to rookie Jacoby Ellsbury in centerfield. But the lead did not stay. Manny Ramirez started off the second inning with a base hit to right field. After getting Kevin Youkilis to fly out right fielder Gabe Gross, Rays starter Matt Garza would walk J.D. Drew, Sean Casey and Julio Lugo to plate Ramirez with the go-ahead run.

But the damage was not done yet. Kevin Cash, who was getting the start with the knuckleballer on mound, drove in Drew with the third run with a fly ball to Crawford in left. The sacrifice fly was Cash’s third RBI on the season. The young Ellsbury would follow Cash’s lead with a single to left to plate Casey. After letting three runs cross the plate, Garza was able to minimize the damage, getting Dustin Pedroia to pop out to first.

Being known for his effectiveness in domed stadiums, Tim Wakefield struggled against the Rays. This was a time where numbers can lie. Although he was able to pitch six complete innings giving up just three earned runs on six hits, walks were a problem for Wakefield. Watching the game, Wakefield appeared flat against Tampa Bay hitters. Although Cash’s two passed balls did not help Wake’s cause, it is not the reason for his poor performance. Even though Wakefield’s three walks in the second inning did not come back to haunt the knuckleballer, you just can not do that as a starting pitcher. Wakefield’s first and only one-two-three inning came in the fifth inning but not before the Rays would come back to take a short-lived lead.

The Rays got one run back in the top of the third inning after a one-out single by rookie third baseman Evan Longoria to drive in designated hitter, Jonny Gomes. Longoria would have drove in two runs but Cash “caught” Upton attempting to steal third – Gomes was safe at second on the double steal. In the next inning, it looked as if Wakefield would get his first one-two-three inning of the game – getting Gabe Gross to ground out to second and Jason Bartlett to fly out to center – but it was not to be. After second baseman Akinori Iwamora singled to right, Crawford hit his second triple of the game down the right field line to drive in the Japanese shortstop. Crawford would score on Lugo’s fielding error on Gomes’s ground ball to take the lead.

As noted before the lead was short lived when Cash drove in Drew, in the top of the sixth, with a base hit. Drew led off the inning with a base hit that was followed by a Jed Lowrie single. Lugo, then, reached on a fielder’s choice – shortstop to second – to get Lowrie giving Cash the opportunity to tie the game.

The Sox look to even up the series with Tampa Bay tomorrow night when Clay Buchholz takes the mound in search of his second win of the season against Rays right hander Edwin Jackson. Buchholz is coming of a Patriots Day 8-3 victory over Texas where he pitched six complete innings allowing five hits while striking out six Rangers. Jackson will be looking to take game two against the Sox and rebound from a 6-0 loss against Chicago. In last Sunday’s game the Tampa Bay righty pitched just 4.1 innings while allowing six earned runs, including a homerun, on seven hits while striking on four Sox batters.

WIN: Scott Dohman(1-0)

LOSS: Mike Timlin (2-2)


Game Notes:

First series of the season against the Rays and Red Sox.

First baseman Sean Casey left the game in the middle of the second inning with a right hip flexor strain. He appeared to injure himself when scoring form second on Ellsbury’s single to left field.

Rays relievers retired eight consecutive Sox batters before allowing Cash’s infield single to third in the top of the ninth.

There were Web Gems in the outfield tonight. Both B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford made remarkable diving catches to save additional runs and extra bases off the bat of Ellsbury and Youkilis in the fourth and sixth innings respectively.

The Sox are currently 1-1 in extra innings games.

The 3 Stars of the Game:

Nathan Haynes, TAMPA BAY 1-1 RBI Single

Carl Crawford, TAMPA BAY 3-5 2 Triples, RBI, 3-Runs Scored,

Manny Ramirez, BOSTON 3-5 Run Scored

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