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A's 7, Rays 6: Danny Valencia Ruins the Sabbath

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Valencia's third, yes THIRD, home run of the day in the top of the 9th put the Rays down for good in Sunday's matinee.

Kevin Cash thought this was a good idea.
Kevin Cash thought this was a good idea.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

**Full disclaimer. This is going to be a brief one. My internet has been down all day (#HelloFriend), and the technician can't come out until tomorrow afternoon's four hour window. Never fear though, friends. Moments like this are why Al Gore created the Personal Hotspot for his wacky invention we call the internet.

I often hear that a manager's job during a game is quite an easy one. Even more so for an American League manager who has the luxury of a designated hitter. Where an AL manager can impact a game, however, is with his decisions around bullpen usage. Cash's manager chops were on full display this afternoon, and they did nothing to impress.

Now, it is completely defensible not to allow Cedeño to pitch to Danny Valencia in the bottom of the 9th where he did. Valencia had already mashed two homers earlier in the game, and Xavier probably isn't the best match up for him if you're rooting for a Rays victory.

What ISN'T defensible, in the author's opinion, is pitching to Valencia at all in that situation... especially with Steve Geltz. This isn't your average weekend for Danny boy. This dude has been straight fire all weekend, and was coming in hot for this at-bat. Steve Geltz is a lot of things, and I'm sure he has a number of lovely qualities, but he is almost certainly not the guy you want in there serving up meatballs to a ravenously hungry Danny Valencia in the 9th inning with a base open.

That ending is a shame, too. This was a fun one up until then, as both teams traded homers all afternoon. Brandon Guyer went 2 for 4 with 2 home runs and FIVE RBIs (one via sac fly in the 4th). Longoria mashed a homer himself in the 5th as well, as did Chris Coghlan off of Erasmo in the 7th.

Danny Valencia was unquestionably the story of the day, and really of the whole weekend. He racked up a total of five homers at the Trop this series.

The 16-19 Rays pack their bags to head to Toronto next, where Jose Bautista is likely sporting an icepack on his freshly-struck chin as we speak.