As a disappointing season winds to a close, we're basically watching at this point hoping to see some positives from our young contributors that make us feel like next season won't be a repeat performance. Well how does six and a third scoreless from Chris Archer and a towering, catwalk homer from Nick Franklin grab you?
Archer had the White Sox baffled most of the night. Through six innings, he'd struck out three, walked two and allowed two hits. He lost his control a bit in the 7th, starting off the inning with back to back walks of Conor Gillaspie and Avisail Garcia. After a mound visit and a Dayan Viciedo fly out that advanced Gillaspie to third, Archer would be pulled and replaced by Joel Peralta. Ole Toddler Tee was effective, allowing the Rays to escape the jam without a mark.
Peralta, Beliveau and Balfour would handle a batter each in the 8th, and Jake McGee trotted out to pitch the 9th. McGee walked Jose Abreu, allowed him to scoot over to second base, and then score on a Marcus Semien RBI single. Shaken, Jake proceeded to walk Avisail Garcia to put the tying run on base with nobody out. Thankfully Jake locked it down from here, retiring Viciedo and Konerko before striking out Tyler Flowers to end the game at a 3-1 final.
The Rays offense did just enough against Hector Noesi. The aforementioned Nick Franklin homer came in the 2nd inning after a James Loney double. It didn't look or sound like solid contact off the bat and seemed destined to be a high pop up for most of its flight, but the ball ended up making contact with the "home run catwalk" near the top of our beloved dome. The umpire crew would review it, but ruled that the home run would be upheld. We've heard about Nick Franklin's pop. It was nice to get a taste of it, even on a ball he didn't exactly square up.
The Rays plated their third run in the 5th with a Yunel Escobar single followed by a Ryan Hanigan walk and a Ben Zobrist RBI single. They held that 3-0 lead until the 9th when Jake McGee allowed the final score to look closer than it was. This win puts the Rays at 75-80. They can't lose another baseball game and finish over .500 on the year. Let's see if they can pull it off.