Rays wrap up memorable road trip
Late wins, Buehrle perfect game mark 10-game excursion
TORONTO -- With the final game of a 10-game road trip staring him in the face Sunday, Rays manager Joe Maddon said this particular trip has felt as long as Spring Training.
Remember, Maddon managed the American League team in the All-Star Game, so he, along with several players and staff members, left St. Petersburg after the July 12 game against Oakland and headed for St. Louis for the Midsummer Classic.
While the trip has been long, it also has been memorable.
The Rays entered Sunday's finale against the Blue Jays with a 6-3 mark on the three-city road trip that saw them go 3-0 at Kansas City, 1-2 in Chicago and 2-0 thus far in Toronto. In all six wins, the Rays won in the eighth inning or later. The team rallied to win in the eighth inning in three games; came from behind in the ninth in two others (winning one in extra innings); and won yet another in extras.
Saturday's win marked the biggest comeback in club history, as Tampa Bay erased an eight-run deficit for the first time in 1,877 games. The previous club record was set this season, when the Rays overcame a 7-0 Indians lead to win, 8-7, at Tropicana Field on May 15.
Other highlights of the trip included Tampa Bay being on the receiving end of a perfect game by Mark Buehrle on Thursday at Chicago, and the Rays scoring a run against closer Bobby Jenks on Tuesday to beat the White Sox. Jenks had not allowed an earned run to Tampa Bay in 12 career appearances.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Rays' five wins over a nine-day period in which they trailed in the eighth inning or later has been matched by only one other team in the past 40 years -- the 1986 Indians.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.