With the AL Wildcard in the balance, Boston held on to a tenuous lead most of the night, squandering opportunities to score to extend it late. Tampa Bay trailed by 7-0 at one point, and it looked like Boston would survive their disastrous September. Tampa Bay came all the way back to tie it with 6 runs in the bottom of the 8th, and the tying run in the 9th to go to extra innings versus the Yankees.
Still, the Rays were in the top of the 12th, with Yankees having runners on the corners, while the Red Sox went to the bottom of the 9th with a one run lead. It still looked like Boston would, at worst, get a playoff. Papelbon got the first two outs (while the Rays got out of the top of the inning without giving up a run) then the Orioles got back to back doubles to tie it, followed by Robert Andino’s game winning single.
Three minutes later, Evan Longoria, who earlier hit a three run homer to help the rally, went ahead and cut Boston’s still fresh wound wide open with a dramatic home run inside the left field foul pole to send Tampa Bay to the playoffs. Stunning.
[photo via Getty]