Tampa Bay Rays determined to bounce back in Game 2


By Robert Green, Reuters

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida — History will repeat and the Tampa Bay Rays will bounce back in the second game of the World Series, their players said on Wednesday. The Rays, who are playing in the post-season for the first time, were beaten 3-2 by the Philadelphia Phillies at Tropicana Field in the opening game of the Fall Classic. The players, however, were adamant they would bounce back in Game Two on Thursday, just as they had done against the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. “Everyone doubted us every series. We’re going to do a good job of coming back,” James Shields, the Rays’ starting pitcher for Game Two on Thursday told reporters. The Rays lost the first game of the ALCS at home then beat the 2007 World Series champion Red Sox four games to three. “We just got beat by a very good team,” relief pitcher J.P. Howell said of Wednesday’s result. “We’re going to mourn for about a half hour and get back to work tomorrow.” The Rays credited Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels with an outstanding performance as he held Tampa Bay to two runs and five hits over seven innings. “He was hitting his spots,” said rookie third baseman Evan Longoria, who was struck out twice by Hamels. “He was very good. Good pitching is going to beat good hitting. “It’s just a matter of time before we get out of it.”

Hamels, however, added a key defensive play by third baseman Pedro Feliz, who fielded a line drive by B.J. Upton with the bases loaded and one out to turn a double play to end the third innings, had swung the game. “That was huge,” Hamels said. “I think that was definitely the kind of momentum swing into our favor for the game.”