The Rays lost another winnable game, as the Tigers completed a sweep of Tampa Bay. The Rays have now dropped four straight, and sixteenth out of eighteen overall. It was a game they had a blind squirrel’s shot at winning till the bullpen gave it away. In other words, you’ve seen this one before. So I’ll be brief.
This was the best moment of the game:
As for the game itself, Chris Archer had electric stuff today but had trouble harnessing it. (Sound familiar?) In the first inning, he loaded the bases on a single and two walks before you could get your Coke from the concession stand. He then bounced back to strike out the side. He also fanned the side in the second inning (though he did allow his third walk). After that, his command seemed to come into focus.
He wouldn’t run into another serious scoring threat until the sixth inning, when the Tigers put men at the corners with two outs. Archer was pulled after 115 pitches, having given up three hits while tallying ten strikeouts, three walks, and a hit batsman. Matt Andriese came on, gave up a screaming liner right to Brad Miller for the third out to preserve the shutout. But really, it just delayed the inevitable.
The Rays offense was a little light today. Of their six hits, two were bunt singles (Guyer, Morrison) and one was a swinging bunt (Forsythe). Their only real rallies came in the middle innings. In the fifth, Nick Franklin singled to right with one out, then scored on a Curt Casali double into the rightfield corner.
In the sixth, the aforementioned bunt single by Morrison was followed by a slicing drive to right by Guyer. But Steven Moya made a sliding catch, then doubled LoMo off first. Because of course he did.
In the seventh, Corey Dickerson nearly hit one out to the opposite field, missing a homer by maybe a foot. The Rays would go on to load the bases with one out. But they didn’t score. Forsythe struck out and Miller flied to left.
And so we entered the eighth inning with the Rays nursing a 1-0 lead. You know where this is going, right?
After an Ian Kinsler double and a Jose Iglesias line out, Kevin Cash chose to put the tying run on base by walking Miguel Cabrera. He then called on lefty Xavier Cedeno to turn around the switch hitting Victor Martinez, even though 1) there is zero advantage in doing this, and 2) the next two hitters after Martinez were right handed.
Martinez proceeded to hit a slow chopper to first. Morrison made the play to Forsythe covering second, who attempted to turn the double play on the slow-footed Martinez. To his credit, VMart was really busting it up the line, and the throw to Cedeno covering was late. Meanwhile, Ian Kinsler never stopped running, rounding third and beating Cedeno’s throw to the plate. Tie game.
Nick Castellanos then singled to left, putting runners on first and second. This was followed by the play of the game, when Justin Upton lined one to center just beyond the diving Brandon Guyer, scoring both runners. And that was your ballgame.
Steve Geltz Danny Farquhar gave up the obligatory two run shot in the ninth for the final margin.