MLB Closer: Grand Slams, Extra Innings and Joe Torre

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Toronto catcher Gregg Zaun hit a game winning Grand Slam in extra innings to shut down Tampa and cut the Rays' lead in the division to two games. The Blue Jays' Lyle Overbay had a pair of solo home-runs during regular play, but the Rays tied the game up in the ninth with a three-run inning. Zaun's game winner came after an exhausting round of extra innings, bringing the game to a close in the 13th.

"If I hit it anywhere else it's a game-ending flyball," Zaun said of his shot into the right-field bullpen. "I got it far enough down the line, it got over and they all count. It was a big moment. That was a lot of fun."

Fun indeed. The Rays, who have only won one in five games so far this September, could see their lead slip even more to the Red Sox with another loss in today's game. • With their win over the Diamondbacks yesterday the Dodgers took over first place in the NL West, routing Arizona 7-2. Manny Ramirez, looking comfortable in blue, put on a show with a three-run homer and a two-run double to put LA in position to take over the division lead. Arizona, who have held or shared first place since April 5, have struggled through the last 12 games, dropping nine of them. Said Joe Torre of the win:

"It doesn't count until the last game of the season. A week ago yesterday, we were five games out in the loss column. We've come a long way in a short time."


So true, Joe. So true. • Jim Thome hit a walkoff shot in the 15th inning to bring victory to the White Sox in their 7-6 win over the Angels and extend their lead in the AL Central. The Sox now have a 2 1/2 game lead on Minnesota in the division while, despite the loss, the Angels maintain a commanding 16 game league in the AL West. Wow, 16 games is just ridiculous. The clash of the titans comes to a close with today's final game of the series. • The Phillies/Mets match-up was held off by bad weather yesterday, forcing a day/night doubleheader today in New York. It will be Cy Young day at Shea with Pedro Martinez pitching the early game and Johan Santana in the second.