Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Rays fall again on last pitch
ORIOLES 5, RAYS 4: A lack of timely hits and a lost save. Sound familiar?
By MARC TOPKIN
Published August 28, 2006
Rays reliever Seth McClung reacts after giving up a single to Nick Markakis to start the winning rally.
Rays catcher Dioner Navarro loses control of the ball as Baltimore's Nick Markakis slides in for the winning run in the ninth.
BALTIMORE - Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon remains a man of faith and hope, standing in his office after yet another crushing defeat Sunday, insisting with conviction that better days are ahead.
But the way things have been going, it is getting harder to believe.
The Rays took an early lead again Sunday, messed it up again and lost late again, this time 5-4 to the Orioles on a walkoff single by Miguel Tejada off Seth McClung.
"Unbelievable," first baseman Travis Lee said. "Things just seem to happen. Little quirky things. We've been playing competitive baseball, we're just not getting that break that we need. I don't know. All we can do is keep battling. Keep battling and keep trying."
The road has been particularly vexing and perplexing. Sunday's loss was their 10th straight away from Tropicana Field, their 20th in 21 road games since the All-Star break and 48th in 66 for the season away from home.
Sunday, they got a decent start from J.P. Howell, filling in for injured ace Scott Kazmir, and took leads of 2-0 and 4-2 but couldn't expand or hold them.
They left 13 men on (including four at third base) while starting six innings with hits, went 3-for-18 with runners in scoring position and didn't run the bases particularly well, with Dioner Navarro not scoring on a drive to right and rookie Ben Zobrist breaking to the plate a tad late on a contact play and getting thrown out. It didn't help that Tejada also made two spectacular plays, twice robbing Damon Hollins.
"It is kind of hard to believe," said centerfielder Rocco Baldelli, who left in the eighth inning with a cramp in his left hamstring but said he was fine. "Really nothing's going our way. We had our chances again. We just can't get it done when he have guys on base."
And they allowed the Orioles to get back in it, giving up single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth, with Tejada the key force in the tying and winning runs.
"I'm going to have dreams about that dude tonight," Hollins said. "It's one of those games, one of those frustrating games. I thought we had it nailed down, and we kind of let it slip away late in the game."
The run in the seventh came after one ball rocketed past third baseman B.J. Upton and another bounced too slowly for second baseman Jorge Cantu to make a play. The one in the eighth came after Hollins dropped a Tejada drive as he backed into the centerfield wall ("The wall caused the fumble," Maddon said.) And the winning run in the ninth came when Nick Markakis singled off McClung (who hit 100 mph on the radar gun earlier in the at-bat), Melvin Mora walked and Tejada bounced a single between first and second.
Markakis even stumbled around third, but Greg Norton - whom the Rays had to keep in rightfield because they had no more outfielders with Baldelli out - could not throw him out. "I just tried to make a strong, accurate throw home," Norton said. "It was accurate. I don't know how strong it was."
It was the second straight night the Rays lost on the last pitch, the eighth time this season. It also was the 47th time they lost after leading - an amazing 11 more than any other team - and ran their major-league high total of blown leads to 75.
"A lot of interesting stuff. It was a great learning kind of game," Maddon said. "We're going to start winning these type of games. I just want to keep the espirit de corps where it is and just keep teaching and talking and supporting, and it's eventually going to turn in our favor."