Myers relieved gaffe doesn’t cost Rays game

Wil Myers’ sense of relief was easy to see.

The Tampa Bay right fielder was let off the hook for a defensive

lapse Wednesday night that put the Texas Rangers ahead in the 11th

inning of a matchup between AL wild-card leaders when the Rays

rallied for a 4-3 victory in the 12th.

After the Rays tied it in the bottom of the 11th, the Rookie of

the Year candidate could be seen saying ”Thank God,” in the

dugout.

With two outs in the 11th, Myers lackadaisically approached

Adrian Beltre’s single to right field with Elvis Andrus on first

base. The speedy Rangers shortstop got a great jump off first and

scored on the play to put Texas up 3-2.

”I should have been more aware of the situation that was going

on and who was running, and charge the ball with more

aggressiveness,” Myers said. ”It’s one of those things that you

learn from and you don’t let it happen again. If I’m in that

situation again I’ve got to know who’s running.”

Myers got a reprieve in the bottom of the 11th when David

DeJesus tied it 3-all with a two-out RBI single off Rangers closer

Joe Nathan. Desmond Jennings then won it for the Rays in the 12th

on a run-scoring single.

In the crowded six-team field for two AL wild-card spots, the

Rays held the top position entering Thursday thanks to the

extra-inning win. If things would have turned out differently

Wednesday and Tampa Bay ended up missing the postseason, Myers’

play could have been seen as a defining moment.

”So, that’s a lesson learned … gratefully that it was learned

during a win and not a loss,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ”But

that’s something I would want to believe he’ll never do

again.”

”That truly is, I’m not one that normally talks about rookie

mistakes because anybody can make them, but that’s a play right

there if you know the league and you know the player, that you know

you’ve to get in to it quickly and get it back in quickly,

period,” Maddon added. ”Had he gotten to the ball quicker and

thrown it in quicker, there’s no way Andrus could have scored on

that play.”

The outcome, though, helped Myers get over his mistake.

”Once they scored, I was happy, obviously, that we were able to

tie it back up, and I was more relieved that we won,” Myers said.

”I felt bad about what had happened, especially in this game that

means so much. That I could let something like that happen.”