Now, that’s more like it.

This is the Rays that folks are used to seeing. They won with great pitching and timely hitting this entire season.  After failing to do that for the first two games of the playoffs, they found their formula in staving off elimination Saturday afternoon.

The Rays received a great starting pitching performance by Matt Garza, and they got the hits to tie the game late and then take the lead. Joaquin Benoit and Rafael Soriano did the rest by closing it out.

It was good times. It was something the Rays needed. Maybe that gets the team going. If there is one thing about the Rays, they can get hot in a hurry.

Once the Rays figure it out, there is no stopping them. The Rays’ stars played well, and now, they can finally relax and just play. Maybe those guys know they can keep hitting well.

The thought here was the Rays were going to win this game. It was hard to believe they were going to get swept. They won 96 games for a reason, and they did it by winning the American League East, which is not an easy task once you take a look at the Blue Jays, Yankees and the Red Sox. It takes a great team to win that division.

It does not guarantee they are going to win the series, but the Rangers knew the Rays were not going to give up like the Twins have in their elimination game with the Yankees. This team is resilient enough not to go down easily.

It looked like it was going to be a good day for the Rays from the beginning. Even though the Rays scored only one run of Colby Lewis, the hitters were taking good at-bats. They were getting on base. It was a matter of time until they broke out.

In the meantime, they needed a starter who could keep up with Lewis. They got it from Garza of all people. No one knew if Garza had it in him to pitch like a shutdown ace, but he proved them wrong.

It’s understandable if people had questions. Garza pitched terribly in September. He gave up hits like free candy. His ERA was high, and he had command issues.

With the way the Rangers hit the ball in the ALDS, who knew if Garza would be up to the task?

He did better than cynics expect. He allowed one runs and five hits. Most importantly, he had a strong grip of the ball. He hit the strike zone well.

His only mistake came when he threw his pitch up to Ian Kinsler in the seventh inning. That mistake turned out to be a home run, and it gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead.

Despite that, he put the Rays in a position to be in the game by going deep in the game. The Rays rewarded his performance by scoring two runs in the eighth inning, and it was good enough for them to take a 3-2 lead.

The timely hitting came through for the Rays. They figured it out after being shutdown by Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson. They got to Darren Oliver and Pedro Feliz.

Dan Johnson got it going with a double. That hit might have been as big as his hit against the Red Sox in August and the Yankees in September. This hit was huge since it was the tying run. It got the Rays going on offense.

Then, Carlos Pena’s single scored Desmond Jennings, who ran for Johnson. Tie game.  Then John Jaso’s hit brought Pena home to give the team the lead.

Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena hit home runs to give the Rays breathing room in the ninth inning.

It wasn’t just the Rays’ timely hits that stood out. It was the guys who got it done.

For a team to win postseason games, stars need to play well. In this game, they did. Pena took good at-bats and he found holes to hit. That’s where the Rays wanted to see.

Crawford’s home run was encouraging. Maybe he can get hot today and then in Game 5. One thing about hitters is that if they are going well, they go well. That’s one reason why the Rays should not be counted out just yet.

There are going to be people that said the Rangers should have won the series today. They will feel the Rangers gave the Rays a chance to win the series now.

Those people are not wrong. The Rays have hope. That’s what this win does.

Once the team gets going, there’s no stopping them. Waking them up is not a great idea.

The A’s of 2001 learned it the hard way. After they dominated the Yankees in the first two games, the Yankees eked out a victory in Game 3 on a brilliant performance by Mike Mussina. From there, the Yankees won the next two games to win the series.

The Rays are talented enough to do the same thing. This win gives them a chance to go out and win it.

All it takes is one win to change the momentum.

For a team like the Rays coming back from a 2-0 deficit is not impossible. They have the mentality where they know they can come back.

Winning a game was good enough to survive. Now, the goal is to find a way to get the game to the Tropicana Field this afternoon. If the Rays can do that, they get into Game 5, and anything can happen.

The Rays have their ace in that game, but most importantly, they have their crowd behind them in a night game. Of course, they have to face Cliff Lee, but the Rays are banking David Price will be better than he showed in Game 1.

The possibilities are endless now with this win. Who knows how it will turn out?

One thing for sure. The Rays are happy to still play. It beats going to the airplane and get ready to pack their belongings.

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