Tampa Bay vs. Cleveland: Evan Longoria Will Continue His Heroics for Rays
In Monday’s tiebreaker game against the Texas Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria led the way going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs and two RBI. Tonight in the AL Wild Card Game, the Rays will again turn to Longoria to come up big and carry the offense into the ALDS.
Longoria was the best offensive player for the Rays this season and that success will look to carry into the postseason. Longoria hit 32 home runs while driving in 88 runs and batting .269 during the year. He had his second highest hit total of his career with 165.
Evan Longoria's HR is the 7th in his team's final game of regular season, passing Stan Musial for most in MLB history. (via @EliasSports)— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) October 1, 2013
Against the Rangers, David Price pitched a complete game and looked like the Cy Young winner from a year ago. On the other side of the ball, Longoria came up huge with clutch hitting and produced enough runs for Price to go the distance.
However, the Indians are the hottest team in baseball winning 15 of their last 17 games, including the last ten games of the regular season. Longoria will be relied on again to provide timely hitting and drive in runs.
Rookie Danny Salazar will be on the mound Wednesday night for the Indians and has never faced this Tampa Bay lineup. Expect Longoria to come out swinging and continue his heroics for the Rays.
Everyone remembers in 2011 when Longoria hit the home run in the bottom of the 12th against the Yankees to propel them into the playoffs. Longoria has the clutch gene, and that doesn’t bode well for the Indians.
I expect Longoria to have a MONSTER night to follow up his performance from Monday. Don’t be surprised if Longoria goes 4-of-5 with a home run, two doubles and four RBI’s.
The Rays have relied on the bat of Longoria all season and that won’t change tonight. He is the leader in the clubhouse and will prove why he is one of the best hitters in baseball.
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