Joyce, Triple Play Set Stage
Joyce's three-run shot was a big boost.
Joyce's three-run shot was a big boost.

Posted Sep 28, 2011


Matt Joyce was sore before Tuesday's game, hobbled by a painful right foot he fouled a ball off the night before.

After Tuesday's game, he felt a little better.

"It felt great running around the bases," he said.

That's the benefit of hitting a three-run, seventh-inning homer that took the Rays from a 3-2 deficit to a 5-3 lead over the Yankees. Tampa Bay held on to win by that score, leaving the Rays and Red Sox tied for the AL wild card heading into the final day of the season.

"I think that definitely tops any kind of big hit that I've ever had," Joyce said.

"To be in the situation we're in, with two games left, we're down a run and the season's pretty much riding on the line, that was one of the most thrilling hits I've ever been a part of."

Even more so for Joyce since he is a Tampa native who grew up rooting for the Rays.

The Rays could have a big advantage in their finale against the Yankees. Tampa Bay will throw All-Star left-hander David Price, while New York, which has long since clinched a playoff berth, plans to throw a parade of relievers that might include several September call-ups.



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