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Rays prevail in extras 4-3 against the Cubs

A zero run differential but still under .500?

Brian Kersey

The Tampa Bay Rays won in ten innings 4-3 against the Chicago at Wrigley Field on Friday afternoon. Chris Archer pitched six innings of two run baseball while striking out six. Tsuyoshi Wada made the start for the Cubs and also allowed two runs over six innings. Brad Boxberger got credit for the win after blowing an opportunity for a save while Hector Rondon was tagged with the loss.

The Rays, going with an all right-handed lineup against the lefty Wada, had an opportunity wasted in the first inning. Ben Zobrist singled to left with one out and moved to second base on a walk issued to Brandon Guyer. Guyer worked the walk over the course of a nine pitch at bat. Evan Longoria lined out to the third baseman Luis Valbuena who threw quickly to second base. Zobrist was called out diving back to second on the field but after a Joe Maddon challenge was called safe. The Rays could not take advantage of the second chance as Sean Rodriguez struck out.

The Cubs wasted no time getting their offense going, with recent callup Javier Baez starting a scoring chance with a broken bat single over a shift into left field. He moved up to third on a double that Zobrist pulled up on, believing it was a homerun. Baez, also believing the ball was gone, did not hustle and only ended up at third as opposed to scoring. Starlin Castro plated Baez with a single to right. Archer recovered and limited the damage to one run as he retired the next two hitters.

The Rays tied the game at one on a solo shot to left hit by Desmond Jennings, his tenth of the year.

The Cubs reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fourth with some help from Archer. Arismendy Alcantara started the action with a one out walk issued by Archer, moving to second on an errant throw from Archer trying to field a ball that could have turned into an inning ending double play. Instead of ending the inning, the poor throw gave the Cubs runners on first and second with one out. Cubs catcher Jon Baker singled to right, scoring Alcantara and giving Chicago a 2-1 lead. Archer was helped out by Curt Casali, who picked off Ryan Sweeney at second base. Archer then retired Wada on a strikeout to again limit the damage.

The Rays managed to scratch across the tying run in the top of the seventh inning. Rodriguez led off the inning with a triple to right that signaled the end of the night for Wada. Brian Schlitter came on and induced a groundout to a drawn in infield from Yunel Escobar, leaving Rodriguez on third. Curt Casali grounded out to Castro at shortstop as Rodriguez broke for home on contact.. Castro attempted to throw Rodriguez out at home but Rodriguez slide headfirst into home plate safely. The Cubs challenged, possibly saying that Rodriguez missed the plate during his slide. Replays clearly showed that Rodriguez got his hand in and was safe. The call was confirmed and the game tied 2-2. The Cubs used former Ray Wesley Wright to get pinch hitting James Loney out and Justin Grimm to retire Logan Forsythe.

The Rays took the lead in the eighth inning with Pedro Strop on the mound. Red hot Zobrist led the way with a one out double. Kevin Kiermaier, pinch hitting for Brandon Guyer, reached on a strikeout and wild pitch to give the Rays a pair of baserunners. Evan Longoria struck out before Matt Joyce, hitting for Joel Peralta, plated Zobrist with a single to center. Joyce was caught stealing during an attempted double steal for the final out of the inning.

Jake McGee came on to pitch to the top of the Cubs' order in the bottom of the eighth and allowed a leadoff single to Chris Coghlan, who made it to second on an error by Kiermaier in right field. McGee preserved the lead by striking out Baez, getting a popout from Rizzo and striking out Castro.

With Brad Boxberger pitching, former Ray Justin Ruggiano hit a pinch hit single to open the bottom of the ninth and moved to second on a sacrifice by Alcantara. Sweeney scored Ruggiano with a base hit to tie the game at 3. Boxberger managed to give the Rays a chance in extras by limiting the damage to the one run.

The Rays took full advantage of that opportunity in the top of the tenth against Hector Rondon. Jennings, Zobrist and Kiermaier hit back-to-back-to-back singles, with Kiermaier's scoring Jennings to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. Longoria and Boxberger grounded out to end the inning after just the one run.

That one run was all Boxberger needed in his second chance to nail down the win, as he remained in the game and set down the Cubs in order in the bottom of the tenth.

The Rays will be back in action tomorrow at 4:05 ET as Jake Odorizzi matches up against Edwin Jackson.