10/29/08 10:34 PM EST
Rays Short Hops: Game 5
One big hit eludes AL champs as incredible season comes to an end
By Brittany Ghiroli / MLB.com
The Rays' World Series championship hopes were dashed, as the club came up just one big hit short.
With two outs and B.J. Upton on second base in the sixth inning on Monday night, Carlos Pena stroked a base hit into left field, tying the game at 2 and giving the Rays new life before rain suspended the game.
5 -- Number of Rays baserunners left on base. In a tight one-run contest, Tampa Bay's inability to drive in runs was the difference-maker.
Baldelli's first-pitch homer in the seventh momentarily silenced the sellout crowd at Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday night by tying the score at 3. Carlos Pena
The Rays' first baseman finally broke out a slump, going 2-for-4 with an RBI. B.J. Upton
Upton's sixth-inning steal -- despite the muddy conditions -- enabled him to score on Pena's single. But Tampa Bay's center fielder squandered another chance to put the Rays on the board, grounding into a double play for the first two outs in the eighth.
Sense of October
With runners on first and second courtesy of a pair of walks from starter Scott Kazmir, Grant Balfour entered the game and retired three straight batters in the fifth inning.
4 AB, 2 H, RBI
Comment: Pena's bat came back in a big way.
4+ IP, 2 R, 4 H, 5 K, 6 BB
Comment: The Rays' original starter, Kazmir tried to make the most of a tight strike zone on Monday night. But the lefty's short outing and six walks left much to be desired.
Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.