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Johnson's timing is perfect for Rays

GAME OF THE DAY

September 10, 2008|From the Associated Press

BOSTON -- Dan Johnson woke up in Pennsylvania in triple A on Tuesday. He'll go to bed in New York on Thursday as a member of the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays.

Johnson, scratched from the lineup because he didn't get into town until just before the first pitch, hit a tying pinch-hit homer in the ninth inning off Jonathan Papelbon, Dioner Navarro doubled in the go-ahead run, and the Rays beat Boston, 5-4, to extend their division lead.

Tampa Bay had lost four straight and six of seven -- and Boston had won six of seven, including a 3-0 victory in the series opener -- to cut the Rays' lead from 5 1/2 games to half a game.

With a win Tuesday, the Red Sox could have moved into first place for the first time since June 28; instead, the Rays are 1 1/2 up and assured of leading the East when they begin a weekend series against the New York Yankees on Friday.

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