Indians 6, Rays 5 - Nyjer Morgan Bedevils the Rays

Nyjer Morgan celebrates his Ray-harming actions. - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Morgan was the story today in a Rays loss. Chris Archer could only go 5 innings, and the Rays offense came up just short with a late rally.

I hope you were doing something wonderful with your family today for Mother's Day. I hope you didn't spend the middle of your day frustrated, excited, teased and then frustrated again from watching this game like I did.

The game actually started out with some early positives. In the top of the 1st, with Michael Brantley on from a free pass, Carlos Santana hit a hard double to right that was quickly fielded by Wil Myers. With Brantley charging home from 1st, Myers threw in to Zobrist who launched a perfect relay throw to Molina who just barely tagged the sliding runner before he touched the plate. Francona came out to discuss with the umpiring crew, but ultimately decided not to review it. The play was so close, it would have been tough to overturn.

In the bottom of the 1st, the Rays took the lead on a big blast solo shot from Matt Joyce.  It would be their only lead of the game. If you stop reading here, I don't blame you.

In the 2nd, Archer walked Asdrubal Cabrera and allowed a Yan Gomes single to right that moved Cabrera to 3rd. Nyjer Morgan knocked in Cabrera with a check swing that nipped a piece of the ball and ended up staying just fair down the third base line while Evan watched it. Check swing RBI. Only the Rays. Michael Bourne followed that up with a double to score Gomes and Morgan. Lead gone. 3-1 Indians.

Archer got in some trouble again in the 3rd, prompting a mound visit, but was saved by a double play featuring a pretty interesting rundown with Carlos Santana for the 2nd out.

Matt Joyce would get on the board again in the 4th, as he followed up a Zobrist double with an RBI single off of Tomlin. Longoria reached on an error next, but all hope was extinguished by a James Loney double play and a Wil Myers ground out to 3rd. 3-2 Indians.

Archer would start the 6th, but would not finish it. He was pulled after Yan Gomes took his slider into the seats in left after a 2 strike check swing that was ruled a ball. Archer's final line: 100 pitches 5.0IP 8H 4R 4ER 4BB 2SO 1HR. Brad Boxberger came in to replace Archer, and was a bit of a mess. Things got weird on a Nyjer Morgan bunt with a head first dive into 1B. The call on the field was out, but after a challenge and review, the play was overturned. With Mike Aviles up, Boxy was called for a balk on a throw to 1st (Nyjer to 2nd), then threw a wild pitch behind Aviles (Nyjer to 3rd).  Aviles finished the job with a sac fly to score Morgan. Nyjer had Boxy rattled. Once he was back in the dugout, Boxy got two quick K's to end the inning. 5-2 Indians.

Nyjer struck again in the 8th, taking a first pitch offering from Brandon Gomes on a ride to the right field seats. This solo shot would prove to be the deciding run of the game. 6-2 Indians.

The Rays would fight back in the 8th, but come up just short. Zobrist led off with a walk, and after a Joyce K, Longo moved Zo to 3rd with a single. Loney hit a weak grounder back to the mound that was a surefire inning ending double play, but Rzepczynski's throw to 2nd was way offline to the SS side of the base. Cabrera tried to barehand it but there was no chance. Longo safe at 2nd, Loney safe at 1st and Zobrist back in the dugout after touching the plate. 6-3. Cody Allen, billed as Francona's fireman, came in to face Myers with 2 on and 1 out. Allen was wild from the start, tossing what looked like a curve ball that didn't curve up towards Wil's dome. Myers made him pay with an RBI single to right, scoring Longo. 6-4. Desmond Jennings stepped in with a chance to complete the comeback, but was brutally hit by a pitch instead - an Allen 96 mph fastball right on the wrist. Did not look good. Joe Maddon and the training staff spent some time looking at Jennings, but he would ultimately stay on first base. Bases loaded, one out. Escobar knocked a sac fly to right to score Loney. 6-5. Hanigan would pinch hit for Molina and gave a valiant effort (certainly more of one than Molina would have), but struck out on a 95 mph fastball to end the frame and the threat.

It felt like there was some life in these Rays in the 9th as Longo and Joyce both made diving efforts to record the first two outs. Unfortunately, there would be no walk-off. Logan Forsythe established that early (against a righty) with a ground ball to Cabrera that he made a pretty amazing throw on to record the first out. Zobrist and Joyce then went down quietly to end the game.

The Rays end up with a 1-5 home stand before heading out on their west coast trip. Mercifully, it appears that tomorrow night's game will not be shown locally on TV. Go do something fun.

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