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Rays 5, White Sox 10: An Ugly Loss in Home Finale

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See you in 2015, Tropicana Field.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn't count for much, and the box score certainly won't reflect it, but Nathan Karns pitched pretty well aside from the second inning. Take out that disaster inning and the White Sox went 2-14 with two walks against Karns. Unfortunately for Karns and the Rays this isn't some brand new game that lets you remove your team's worst inning from the scoreboard. That second inning happened and it was brutal.

After quickly retiring the Sox in order in the first, Karns allowed a leadoff home run to Avisail Garcia to deep left-center. Then he hit Dayan Viciedo. Then allowed a single by Jordan Danks. Then somehow Marcus Semien turned on a pitch that was well inside and deposited it into the seats in left. Look how far inside the pitch was. Remember, this is the view from the mound.

Semien_homer_medium

Usually that ball is flared into the outfield for a single at best. He wouldn't allow another hit until the sixth inning when Garcia took him deep again.

This start was in stark contrast to his first where he allowed no runs and only two hits against Toronto. He showed excellent command in that game. Here, not so much. He only walked two batters but missed spots in crucial situations, like with Garcia's two homers. He certainly has the stuff to win a rotation spot next season, assuming one opens up. Four of his five strikeouts came on his curveball and he netted 12 swings and misses in his 91 pitches. I'd like to see what more time with Jim Hickey will do for his game.

Alex Colome relieved Karns in the sixth inning and did about as poorly as one could do, allowing four hits and four earned runs while allowing two inherited runners to score.

John Danks shut down the Rays' offense through five innings, not allowing a hit and walking two. Down 10-0 and with Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria removed from the game, they were able to get two runs back thanks to a double by Brandon Guyer, the team's first hit, a ground out by Kevin Kiermaier, and an infield single from Wil Myers. Curt Casali would double home a run in the seventh, and Guyer would single home two in the ninth to at least make it a respectable 10-5 defeat.

The team finishes 2014 with a 36-45 record at the Trop, their worst since 2003. The team simply wasn't that good this season, due to injury and lower than expected performances from some key players. The Trop has been one of the better home field advantages over the past six seasons, and that should return to form next year.