ST. PETERSBURG -- As he rounded the bases, Jose Lobaton had no idea what to do.
“It's weird,” Lobaton said. “You want to do a lot of things. You want to yell. I was running, I just said, 'Thank God.' That's what I was saying.
“I don't know how to explain it. It's just different than when you get a base hit. You know you get one more game. You know you've got the next day to try to win again."
His two-out walkoff homer guaranteed that the Rays would live to play another day. It was the first postseason hit of his career and for a team that's played with its back to the wall for two weeks, it couldn't have been more timely.
Playing high-stakes speed chess late in the game, Rays manager Joe Maddon was busy plotting his next move when he realized he didn't need to.
"I swear I was looking down on my [lineup] card and you're preparing for what's going to happen," he said. "Then I hear that thing you hear on the radio back in the day when you're listening to the Cardinals on KMOX, laying on the floor in Hazleton, Pa, that knock. And look up and the ball is going towards the tank, which nobody hits home runs there. Nobody does. How about that? It's incredible."
It was Lobaton's third walkoff hit this season.
"Jose does have a flare for the dramatic," Maddon said. "He's done that a couple of times now. A walkoff triple, two walkoff homers. It's incredible what he's done. What an interesting, wonderful game to stay solvent with."
• Maddon expects Wil Myers to be able to play tomorrow after leaving in the seventh innings with cramping in both legs.
"He should probably be fine by tomorrow,” Maddon said. “It's kind of a dehydration thing.”
• Rocco Baldelli, who has split allegiances having spent time with both the Rays and the Sox, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tomorrow.
• Evan Longoria celebrated his 28th birthday by going 1 for 5 with a game-tying home run in the fifth inning.
In postseason history, only one other player has homered on his birthday. That was the Royals' Willie Mays Aikens in Game 1 of the 1980 World Series against Philadelphia.
“Anytime you're playing in October and your birthday is in October it's a pretty good birthday in itself,” Longoria said. “Coming into the game I just ... I wanted to play good, solid team game overall and be able to come out on top. And just to be able to get ... to come through in that moment makes it all the more special.”
• Although he didn't pick up the win, Alex Cobb remained unbeaten at home this season. He was 7-0 in 13 regular-season starts.
• Fernando Rodney joined Dan Wheeler as the only Rays to blow a save in the postseason. He also recorded his first postseason win.
• This was the Rays first postseason win at the Trop since Game 2 of the 2008 World Series.