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Rays 7, Red Sox 8: Sox take Game 1 in the Battle for Last Place

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Archer can't control his pitches, and neither can Brandon Gomes.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Archer was walking a fine line all evening. Maybe he was a little rattled when he saw David Ortiz come out of the dugout and shake a bunch of people's hands.

"You can't drive a car on a baseball field!" said Chris Archer, probably. "It's where the players go! The grass will get dirty! Also the tires might not be that well-maintained, so the grip could be loose." These are probably thoughts Archer had in his first innings, when he kept putting people on base.

That said he was able to step up when he needed to most. He stranded runners in scoring position in the first three innings. The first inning looked like it was gonna be one of those innings too. Archie walked Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia to lead off the game. J.P. Arencibia, who has not really played with Archer this season, promptly allowed a passed ball to put runners in the scoring positions. But the Rays managed to limit the damage. Xander Bogaerts grounded out to bring up David Ortiz. A 3-run homer seemed inevitable. But Big Papi lined a ball to the shifted Asdrubal Cabrera, who also doubled up the guy on second base.

This allowed the Rays to hang onto an early lead that they managed to cobble together the half-inning earlier. Brandon Guyer, on the second pitch of the game, hit one over the Green Monster to give the Rays that lead. Mahtook singled, and after an extended replay review, he was ruled safe at home after a Longo double. With a RISP the Rays were sure to fold into pieces oh wait Forsythe hit a single to bring Longo home.

Well how 'bout that.

Archer allowed a run in the fourth. Travis Shaw and Brock Holt combined to score a run, but only a run, and the Rays still led 3-1 after four innings. The fifth too looked a little dicey. Archer even allowed a runner to reach base after a strikeout, putting a runner is scoring position for the fifth straight inning. With David Ortiz looming at the plate, Archer once again praised Cabrera's fast hands. Ortiz grounded out sharply, ending the inning. The 3-run homer would have to wait.

After that strenuous fifth, Cash called to the bullpen. Enny Romero, the fireballer, entered and was predictably wild. Holt singled, and Romero moved him to second on a wild pitch. Romero also walked Hanigan, putting a runner on second for the sixth inning in a row. Jackie Bradley Jr. saw nothing but fireballs after that, and Romero got JBJ to ground out to end the inning. MLB Gameday said it was a 99 MPH fastball.

Hoo boy.

In the seventh Guyer singled to start out the inning, and it looked like he also stole second, but upon replay review the call was overturned. That inning ended fairly quickly after.

Alex Colome pitched the seventh, and the game took a turn for the worse. Three consecutive hits by the top of the Red Sox order scored a run and put runners on second and third with no one out. Ortiz steps in again. It took a fine play by Cabrera to limit his scoring to one run, but Ortiz finally was able to tie it up. Travis Shaw, the next batter, flew out to RF, but Guyer made a really bad throw and allowed the runner to score. Red Sox took the lead 4-3. But it wasn't for long.

Richie Shaffer hit the ball hard to lead off the eighth, and Kiermaier was able to move him on over to second. The Red Sox called to Alexi Ogando to pitch to John Jaso, who drew an epic nine-pitch walk. Brandon Guyer, whose terrible throw contributed to a run mere minutes ago, singled hard to right but Shaffer didn't try to test the arm of Mookie Betts. Ogando quickly got ahead of Grady Sizemore, but Sizemore whacked a ball that was well outside to left field, doubling home Shaffer and Jaso. That put the Rays back up 5-4.

This information was bittersweet, however, because right around this time the Price-led Blue Jays picked up a win against the Yankees. In the words of Marc Topkin:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">With <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BlueJays?src=hash">#BlueJays</a> win, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rays?src=hash">#Rays</a> are officially eliminated from AL East race</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/646148406893780992">September 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Well it was a long time coming but in that weird way that baseball works, as soon as the Rays take the lead, they're officially eliminated from the AL East race.

Logan Forsythe didn't care though. He hit a sac fly to score another run. #RaysUp 6-4.

Look, I'll be honest: when Brandon Gomes entered for the eighth I felt pretty good. So good, in fact, that after he got two outs I turned off my TV and went downstairs to have a late dinner. I was away from the TV for no more than 15 minutes. So imagine my surprise when I come back upstairs and see this:

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Grand slam by Bogaerts off <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rays?src=hash">#Rays</a> Gomes. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RedSox?src=hash">#RedSox</a> lead 8-6</p>&mdash; Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Rays/status/646154100040581120">September 22, 2015</a></blockquote>

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In the span of four pitches, Gomes had loaded the bases on a HBP and two singles. But still, two outs right? Grand slams don't happen that often, right?

Not tonight. When even Kevin Kiermaier makes an error you know you're in the Twilight Zone.

Richie Shaffer hit a home run to put the Rays within one run, but they still couldn't put it away. Red Sox take Game 1.

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<th colspan=2>Roll Call Info</th>

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<tr><td width=150>Total comments</td><td>93</tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Total commenters</td><td>17</tr>

<tr><td>Commenter list</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Brickhaus">Brickhaus</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Darby%20Robinson">Darby Robinson</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/EvenLongoria">EvenLongoria</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Noles95'">Noles95'</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Rays1118">Rays1118</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/RazeTheRoof">RazeTheRoof</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/TBRaysfan009">TBRaysfan009</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/greg53">greg53</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/kfharlock">kfharlock</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/killa3312">killa3312</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/nomo.red.evil">nomo.red.evil</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/stingraypete">stingraypete</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/the%20dobber">the dobber</a>, <a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></tr>

<tr class="alt"><td>Story URLs</td><td><div><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox">http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox</a></div>

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<th width=60># Recs</th><th>Commenter</th><th>Comment Link</th>

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<td>3</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328521670">By the way, Brett, thanks for the picture.</a></td>

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<td>3</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/the%20dobber">the dobber</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328521150">Fuck David Ortiz and Fuck Boston</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/thedudeofdudes">thedudeofdudes</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328577616">It would be really hard to make all this shit up.</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/tampa_edski">tampa_edski</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328569244">Why call it scoring position?</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/Mister%20Lizzie">Mister Lizzie</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328522426">Not ideal, but far more acceptable than the Yankee and Red Sox hagiography.</a></td>

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<td>2</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328520044">Ortiz can make me take back everything I've ever said about him if he backs over Pedro with that car</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/RazeTheRoof">RazeTheRoof</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328523220">We face them the last weekend at the Trop</a></td>

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<td>1</td><td><a href="http://www.sbnation.com/users/JRTW612">JRTW612</a></td><td><a href="http://www.draysbay.com/2015/9/21/9365841/gdt-its-the-red-sox#328528774">That's because Mahtook is actually getting playing time</a></td>

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