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Rays 3, A’s 4: We were winning, until we weren’t

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The word 'happiness' would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. ~Carl Jung and/or Kevin Cash

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Rays were on their way to beating the Oakland A’s tonight behind a strong start from Drew Smyly and just enough hitting. Then the 9th inning happened, and Oakland scored three on two homers off Alex Colome, allowing Oakland to walk it off.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Smyly battled through a tough 29 pitch first inning. He was touched for two hits and a walk, as well as the only run charged to him on a single by Khris Davis with runners on first and second. The damage could have been worse, as Billy Butler followed that by hitting a liner to center. Kiermaier dove and apparently came up with the grab, only to lose the ball on the transfer. However, the umpire ruled that he did not make the catch at all. In the confusion, Khris Davis was forced out at second while Danny Valencia danced off third and failed to advance. Smyly then retired Jake Smolinski to get out of the jam.

The Rays battled back, tying the game in the second. Corey Dickerson hit one off the wall, and was chased home on an Oswaldo Arcia soft serve single to left.

The Rays then took the lead (!) in the fourth thanks to some goofy plays from Oakland. With Steve Pearce on first, Arcia hit a high fly deep to left center that Coco Crisp was unable to corral, putting runners on second and third. Brandon Guyer followed with a grounder to Jed Lowrie, who charged the ball and clearly had a play at the plate on Pearce. But for some reason, Lowrie decided to take the out at first, and the Rays had the lead. Thanks?

Meanwhile, Smyly settled in. Despite the extended first, Drew would go six strong on just 88 pitches, scattering six hits, while walking one and striking out one. Then Matt Andriese came on, and he worked two perfect innings, striking out a pair. Everything is awesome!

We even tacked on a run! With two outs in the seventh, KK worked a walk, Curt Casali singled KK to third (and he had a chance to score on the play when Davis bobbled the ball in left), and Logan Forsythe drove in the run with a single to right. 3-1, good guys.

Alex Colome came in to pitch the ninth. And as we all know, Alex Colome has been perfect in save situations this year.

Well, had been perfect, anyway. But this is 2016, and we can’t have nice things.

Colome was off right away, giving up a lead off walk to Khris Davis on four pitches. He did bounce back to strike out Yonder Alonso, but caught too much plate with a first pitch fastball to Jake Smolinski. The ball left the yard in a hurry to tie the game. Then after a fly out by Semien, he ran the count full to Ryon Healy. On the sixth pitch of the at bat, Healy hit a no-doubter to left center. Ball game.

Notes:

  • There was a play in the third where Brad Miller singled, then got tangled up with Valencia rounding the bag. It was a play that if Miller keeps running, it looked like the umpire was prepared to call interference. But since Miller retreated to the bag, there was no call. Baseball is dumb sometimes.
  • Arcia injured his elbow during a swing-and-miss in the seventh. The early report is that it is a mild strain.
  • Kendall Graveman ended up with a complete game for Oakland, scattering nine hits and a walk to go with four strikeouts.
  • This game was sooooo 2016 Rays.
  • Also, this happened. Apparently Alex Colome isn’t the only one who forgot how to close a door.