ARLINGTON, Texas — Evan Longoria admitted his left quadriceps still bothers him.
But after Longoria hit two doubles and a two-run home run Sunday, the Rays are on the verge of a heroic comeback. Their 5-2 victory over the Rangers forced a fifth and deciding game Tuesday in the American League Division Series.
"We know what's at stake," Texas third baseman Michael Young said after the Rangers blew two chances at home to win the ALDS and advance to the American League Championship Series against the Yankees.
Longoria, who missed the final 10 games of the regular season because of his injury, was hitless in 11 at-bats before leading off the fourth with a double that started a two-run rally. Longoria didn't have to strain his leg in the fifth after hitting a two-run home run, his seventh career postseason homer.
The Rays' ALDS comeback is similar to the resiliency they displayed in a four-game series at New York on Sept. 20-23, when they lost the first two games to fall 21/2 games out of first but won the final two games and eventually won the American League East and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
"That was pretty fresh in a lot of guys' minds, and that's what I kept drawing from — our ability to bounce back in that situation and our ability to do that here and the belief that we can," Longoria said.