Rays Turn Critical Triple Play, Stay Close

ST. PETERSBURG, FL: Evan Longoria #3 of the Tampa Bay Rays fields a fair ball and throws to first for the out against the Toronto Blue Jays during the game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Tampa Bay Rays won 6-2. (Photo by Charles Sonnenblick/Getty Images)

A triple-play in the sixth-inning helped get the Rays out of a bases-loaded jam.

The Rays were in trouble. Already trailing 3-2, starter Jeremy Hellickson was laboring. With Yankees on second and third base and nobody out, Hellickson issued an intentional walk to Jorge Posada.

With Jake McGee warming up in the bullpen, it seemed that Hellickson's night might be over.

But when someone popped out of the Rays' dugout, it wasn't Joe Maddon to remove his rookie starting pitcher. Instead it was pitching coach Kevin Hickey, with a spot of advice. We think their conversation probably went ... something ... like ... this:

Hickey: What do you think, Hellie?

Hellickson: I could strike Russell Martin out.

Hickey: You could. But I don't know if one out's enough.

Hellickson: How about a ground-ball double play? To shortstop, maybe?

Hickey: Yeah, but then Teixeira will score from third and we'll be down two runs.

Hellickson: Well, what about a triple play?

Hickey: Go get 'em, Tiger.

Then this happened:

Raystripleplay

That, folks, is the third triple play in Tampa Bay's franchise history. Even with a slight bobble, Evan Longoria was able to start the 5-4-3 to get the Rays out of trouble and keep the game as close as possible.

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