So THIS is what it feels like to score runs and win baseball games again! It feels good!
Everyone loves a good walk-off, especially of the home run variety, and the attendees at Tropicana Field were treated to just that today. After a fairly intense pitching duel between Milwaukee’s Jimmy Nelson and our own Chris Archer, Souza broke a 1-1 tie with a shot into the left field stands. There was joy and there were Gatorade showers, and every drop of both was deserved.
Chris Archer was nails today on the mound, giving up just three hits and two walks while striking out seven batters over six frames. He did manage to hit the second batter of the game, Domingo Santana, with an inside pitch, but a double play ended that situation soon after.
With a 1-0 lead, thanks to a bases-loaded RBI double play off the bat of Wilson Ramos in the second inning, Archer’s lone mistake of substance was an Orlando Arcia solo shot in the top of the sixth on a 2-0 pitch. This tied the game 1-1, and though the Brewers would threaten in the ninth, Tommy Hunter got out of the jam and allowed Souza Jr. to be the hero of the day as the first and only batter in the bottom of that frame.
Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had been lights out all day, but was pulled in the ninth in favor of Jacob Barnes. Barnes would only throw two pitches before Souza parked one into the seats and sent everyone out into the beautiful Florida sunshine.
Still in the thick of the Wild Card hunt, the Rays are off tomorrow before welcoming the Boston Red Sox and their notorious “fans” to St. Pete on Tuesday. Austin Pruitt and the Rays will face a tough task, as Lakeland’s Chris Sale will be on the mound for Tuesday’s series opener.
Luckily, I’ve invited all of Chris’s ex-girlfriends to join me in the seats directly behind home plate.
See you Tuesday, ladies! Go Rays!