I think we all learned a valuable lesson this weekend. Don't skip work to watch your daughter graduate, or your team will straight up get swept. I bet ole Robin will be firing up FaceTime next go 'round.
Chris Sale was a monster today. A bit wild but still a monster. After giving up a leadoff single to Brandon Guyer in the first inning, the Lakeland native did not surrender another hit until the 7th inning, striking out a dozen Rays along the way. Thankfully that one hit just happened to be a massive two run homer to left field off the bat of Asdrubal Cabrera that put the Rays out front for good.
Nate Karns had himself quite the day as well, recovering nicely from his recent start against Anaheim. The Rays starter scattered seven hits and a walk across six innings and only allowed one run to score on a 2nd inning RBI single that squirted just under the glove of a diving Jake Elmore. Nate struck out eight of his own and held the White Sox to a presumably frustrating one for nine chances with runners in scoring position.
The Rays Bullpen buffet of Riefenhauser, Geltz and Jepsen locked it down after Karns finished his work, each providing a quiet inning apiece, and giving up just one total hit over those frames.
When the Rays record twelve strikeouts, that doesn't leave an awful lot of offense left to cover, but they did look a little feisty in the first. Sale had to battle a bit after giving up the aforementioned Guyer single and walking Joey Butler on four pitches out of the zone. It was a battle he was game for, however, as Sale made quick work of Longo, Forsy and Souza to end the inning and the early threat.
Down a run, the Rays looked to threaten again in the third after some LOLfense. Brandon Guyer was hit by a pitch, Joey Butler reached on an error, and both batters advanced into scoring position with just one out thanks to a wild pitch by Sale. The lefty wouldn't be phased, needing just eight pitches to mow down Longoria and Forsythe with consecutive swinging K's.
Skipping all the way to the seventh, with the Rays down 1-0, and Steven Souza on first base courtesy of a base on balls, Asdrubal Cabrera really punished Sale for a two-seamer that was asking to be launched as soon as it left his hand. This one was a no-doubter off the bat. Cabby's third homer of the season. 2-1 Rays.
Asdrubal had himself a day at shortstop as well, making a delightful jump throw to second for a force out in the 7th and flashing some leather on a another nice play to nail Melky in the 9th. Smooth shortstop work out there today.
It brought a smile to my face to see a smiling Cabrera enjoying a double Gatorade shower courtesy of his teammates and his young son after the game during his interview with Todd Kalas. I don't think I've ever seen that before. In the age of Riley Curry, I've determined I am a sucker for that sort of thing.
Just remember... don't watch them graduate.
The win pulls the Rays to 35-29, in a tie for first place in the East with our rival Yankees. These boys are bruised but nowhere near broken, and they've got some serious fight in them.