10/24/08 12:46 AM EST
Rays Short Hops: Game 2
Shields, offense help Tampa Bay pull even in Fall Classic
By Kevin Horan / MLB.com
Akinori Iwamura and B.J. Upton gave the Rays the lead in the first, and James Shields kept the Phillies guessing for most of the game. Frozen moment
The Phils had a chance to do some damage in the second, when Ryan Howard led off with a double and Pat Burrell followed with a walk. But Shields was able to set the Phillies down in order after that -- getting Shane Victorino to pop up to third, striking out Greg Dobbs and getting Pedro Feliz to line out to center. Big number
2 1/3 -- Number of innings David Price pitched to close out Game 2 on Thursday night. It was longest relief outing to finish up a World Series win since the Indians' Brian Anderson earned a three-inning save in Game 4 of the 1997 World Series. Game balls James Shields
The right-hander worked his way out of a number of jams Thursday night, ultimately turning in 5 2/3 solid innings.
The Rays' shortstop gave his team an insurance run with a safety-squeeze bunt in the fourth inning that scored Cliff Floyd.
The young reliever was called upon in a big spot once again on Thursday night. Price struck out Howard with a runner on second base to end the Phils' seventh-inning threat. Price went on to finish the game for Tampa Bay.
When Price entered the game in the seventh, no one was warming up in Tampa Bay's bullpen. However, when the young left-hander walked his first hitter, Chase Utley, Rays reliever Grant Balfour started throwing. Price went on to strike out Howard to end the inning.
2 AB, 2 H, 1 RBI
Comment: The shortstop gave the Rays a crucial insurance run in the fourth with a safety-squeeze bunt.
5.2 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K
Comment: Shields did his job for 5 2/3 innings -- keeping the Phillies off the scoreboard.
"He's human, just like everybody else out there. He doesn't have super powers." -- Price, on facing Howard
The Rays will head to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Saturday night with newfound confidence after evening the series Thursday night.
Kevin Horan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.