Rays Short Hops: Game 3
Pitching, defense hamper Tampa Bay in loss vs. Philadelphia
Fielding the Rays' 5-4 loss to the Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series on a short hop ...In < 25 words ...
The Rays' reliable recipe of pitching and defense hurt them in a wacky ninth, when two errant throws handed the Phillies a walk-off victory.
After legging out a leadoff single in the eighth, B.J. Upton stole second and swiped third on the subsequent pitch, scoring off catcher Carlos Ruiz's errant throw to the bag. Upton's score tied the game at 4 and gave the speedy outfielder three steals on the night.
6 -- The number of times Tampa Bay pitchers awarded batters first base either via a walk (five) or hit batter. The free passes proved critical in the ninth inning, as the Phillies capitalized on a hit-by-pitch to Eric Bruntlett, who eventually scored the game-winning run.
Upton went 2-for-4 with a run scored and three steals, proving the 24-year-old outfielder can be lethal with his legs as well as his bat. Carl Crawford
Crawford was the only Rays batter who seemed locked in on Phillies starter Jamie Moyer. After a double in the second, Crawford legged out a bunt single and used his speed to cross the plate twice.
The Rays rookie continued his slump at the plate, going 0-for-4 to remain hitless in 12 World Series at-bats.
Sense of October
Entering the eighth inning with a runner on first and no outs, J.P. Howell fanned Chase Utley and picked off Jayson Werth at second base to quash the go-ahead threat. Howell than fanned Ryan Howard to end the inning, erasing reliever Chad Bradford's leadoff walk.
4 AB, 2 H, 2B, 2 R, SB
Comment: The left fielder used his speed to swipe third and is 7-for-7 in postseason steal attempts. Crawford's second-inning double was his second extra-base hit of the Fall Classic, and he has helped offset the Rays' slumping middle of the lineup.
6 IP, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB
Comment: Although hardly his best postseason outing, Garza managed to avoid the big inning and give the Rays a chance to win. The crux of the right-hander's problems on Saturday night were of the long-ball variety, as Garza allowed three solo homers.
Andy Sonnanstine will make his World Series debut in Game 4, pitching for the first time since Oct. 14 at Fenway Park. The right-hander has won both of his previous playoff starts. The Rays will play their second of three straight games at Citizens Bank Park on Sunday, and will look to even the series up at 2-2.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.