Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/5/13
Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon said the franchise is on its way to owning the best bullpen in the American League. On Sunday the pitching staff performed well enough to uphold their manager's theory — and it couldn't have picked a better time than against the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants. In front of an announced sellout crowd of 34078 at Tropicana Field the bullpen combined to pitch 4ß scoreless innings in a come-from-behind 4-3 win. After a shaky ineffective start from right-hander Roberto Hernandez who allowed three runs on eight hits through 4ª innings the bullpen allowed just two base runners — one on a hit by pitch — the rest of the way. “The bullpen like I've talked about earlier they're going to be the best in the American League” Maddon said. “I think they're getting close to that right now. That's about as well as I've seen Jake (McGee) throw a baseball for a long time.” With two outs in the top of the fifth and the Giants ahead 3-2 Hernandez was relieved by Alex Torres the first of four relievers to shut down the Giants. “With Roberto ... nothing was really as sharp as normal and they were getting a lot of hits” Maddon said. “I didn't feel good about (Brandon) Belt versus him right there with two outs so we had Alex warming up specifically for that moment and it worked out well.” Torres hit Belt with a pitch but got out of the inning with a ground out. Torres earned the win with 1ß scoreless innings including two strikeouts. McGee was impressive in a 1-2-3 seventh. Joel Peralta despite allowing a two-out double recorded his 10th straight scoreless appearance. Fernando Rodney earned his 27th save with a perfect ninth.
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