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Rays 9, Braves 6: Sizemore, Offense Come Up Big In Sweep

Grady Sizemore added three hits, including a homer and a double, to help the Rays rally against the Braves.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Jokes have been made all season long about what little run support Jake Odorizzi has received. His 6-6 record coming into Wednesday's game belied his 2.77 ERA. He'd lost or received no decisions in games where he allowed two runs or less five times. As always, baseball is a funny game. Last night he allowed a season high-tying six runs in six innings and didn't take the loss, thanks to the Rays suddenly potent offense.

Odorizzi got himself into trouble early with men on first and second with no outs in the second inning. He quickly struck out the next two batters but allowed a double to left field to Joey Terdoslavich and a single to Pedro Ciriaco putting the Rays in a 3-0 hole. He'd calm down for a few innings after that, allowing one run over the next four innings. However, he began the seventh with a leadoff walk to Nick Swisher and another double by Terdoslavich and was pulled from the game with the Rays trailing by just one. Alex Colome came in and allowed runs on a Ciriaco sac fly (he had a big night with 4 RBI) and a wild pitch. They would be the last runs the Braves would score. Thankfully, the Rays weren't done.

The offense got on the board in the second inning on a Kevin Kiermaier groundout. They'd tack on more in the fifth on a homer from Grady Sizemore and the sixth on a fielder's choice off the bat of Curt Casali. They'd enter the seventh down by three. Sizemore, in his best game of the season, lead off with a ground-rule double. An Evan Longoria single pushed him to third. James Loney hooked a low fastball down the right field line for a run scoring double. Logan Forsythe brought the Rays within one with a sac fly to center. That sac fly also allowed pinch-runner Tim Beckham to advance to third which would come up huge when Matt Marksberry's wild pitch allowed him to score the tying run with two outs.

This brought Brandon Guyer to the plate against a left handed pitcher and he did what he's paid to do when he has the platoon advantage and doubled to left field. A pitcher doesn't have much control over whether a batted ball is turned into an out...except in rare instances when he has complete control. Kiermaier hit a grounder toward first, forcing Terdoslavich to lunge to his right and sending Marksberry to cover the bag. Marksberry fielded the ball in plenty of time...and just missed first base twice. Kiermaier was safe and Brandon Guyer alertly scored from second to score what turned out to be the game winning run. Casali would then add a two run homer off the fair-pole in left to provide a three run cushion.

Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger finished off the game, but not without a fear inducing ninth inning as Box has been wont to do lately.

The win, coupled with losses by New York and Baltimore, have the Rays within 2 games of the second wild card position and four and a half back of Toronto in the division. So you're saying there's a chance?