Backup catcher Jose Lobaton's ninth-inning home run off of Boston Red Sox closer Koji Uehara gave the Tampa Bay Rays a season-saving 5-4 victory in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Monday.
Lobaton, who entered the game in the top of the ninth on a double-switch, took an 0-1 pitch from Uehara and deposited into the fish tank over the wall in right-center. The walk-off blast was the first homer allowed by Uehara since June 30.
Lobaton might not have been in the game if not for an injury suffered by Wil Myers, which cost the Rays their designated hitter privilege after manager Joe Maddon replaced Myers with starting DH Matt Joyce. Lobaton batted in Myers' spot in the order, which was taken over by pitcher Jake McGe.
Tampa Bay briefly took the lead in the eighth inning when Delmon Young, who pinch-hit for catcher Jose Molina, hit a first-pitch grounder to Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, who was unable to pull the trigger on a potential throw to the plate, allowing pinch-runner Sam Fuld to score.
Boston answered with an RBI grounder of its own in the top of the ninth against Rays closer Fernando Rodney. Will Middlebrooks walked and Jacoby Ellsbury singled to start the frame.
After Shane Victorino laid down a sacrifice bunt, Dustin Pedroia hit a grounder to Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was playing back and elected to throw to first for the out, allowing Middlebrooks to cross the plate.
The Rays needed a three-run home run off the bat of Evan Longoria in the fifth inning to be in the position to win later in the game. Longoria's homer took Alex Cobb, who allowed a pair of earned runs on five hits in five innings, off the hook.