Today was smooth sailing for our baseball club until the bottom of the 6th. The Rays got out to an early lead in the top of the 2nd as Kevin Kiermaier followed an Asdrubal Cabrera single with a two run homer to right. KK extended his arms to reach down and scoop a pitch that had just enough on it to clear the right field wall and put the Rays up 2-0.
They were back at it in the 3rd. After a Daniel Nava walk and a Grady Sizemore single (who ever thought I would type this sentence), Logan Forsythe made Ivan Nova pay with a little two-out popper to left that bounced in front of Bret Gardner and allowed Nava to cross the plate. 3-0 Rays.
The fun was over in the 6th, as was the lead. With a man on and two out, Chris Archer walked Carlos Beltran on five pitches to bring Brian McCann to the plate. Archer hung a 3-1 fastball right where McCann wanted it, and the powerful backstop sent it for a ride to right center to tie the game with one swing. 3-3. As McCann was still high-fiving in the dugout, Alex Rodriguez punished Archer's next pitch as well. ARod deposited Archer's slider into the right field seats to put the Yankees up 4-3. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
In the bottom of the 7th, after giving up a single, a wild pitch and a walk, Archer was mercifully pulled for Enny Romero. Bret Gardner sent a bouncer to second base that looked like a real possibility for a double play, but Forsythe was awkward tagging the bag and throwing to first. Gardner was safe by a mile anyway, but Forsythe's throw was way off target, the target being Loney's glove, which allowed Didi Gregorius to score. 5-3 Yankees.
Asdrubal Cabrera made a dent in the top of the 8th, as he absolutely CRUSHED a Dellin Betances fastball (clocking in at 99 mph) and sent it sailing into the second level in right field. 5-4 Yankees.
Steve Geltz started the bottom of the 8th, but was pulled after giving up two ugly walks and a single to Alex Rodriguez. C.J. Riefenhauser ultimately gave up the run as a Didi Gregorius single sent Rico Noel, which just so happens to be the name under which I check into cash-only motels, across home plate. 6-4 Yankees, and that would be your final. It got a little exciting in the 9th, with a couple of singles and a wild pitch, but it would ultimately lead to nothing.
Our Rays are now 67-69. I now fully expect them to reel off a couple of back to back wins, so we can all rejoice at their 69-69 record. Adam will then make a banner that reads "69 Champions", and a few people will rec it as we chuckle. It'll be great.
See you tomorrow for afternoon Labor Day baseball!
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