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Rays 5, White Sox 4: The game nobody wanted to win

Let that be a lesson to you: no one beats the Tampa Bay Rays nine times in a row.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Chicago White Sox Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

It’s amazing that this game was even played today.

Snow is a beautiful miracle of nature, and should be viewed from afar, preferably in front of a fire with a book. Baseball is a summer game, y’all. #DomeLyfe

You’d be forgiven if I didn’t get too excited when the Rays scored in the first inning. Over the last 5 games, the Rays have scored first and had no wins to show for it. Even that Matt Duffy two-our RBI single did little to bring me out of my initial skepticism that today would be just another day for the Rays. When Chris Archer allowed a run in the bottom of the inning without the benefit of a White Sox hit, well, you sorta see where I am, coming from with this.

Sometimes I think Marc Topkin hates his job.

In the third inning Archer managed to work around a leadoff double to close out the inning with a zero, and the Rays (specifically Mallex Smith) rewarded him with an RBI triple that brought home Daniel Robertson, who is my new favorite Rays because he actually has gotten a handful of hits the past few games. I swear, D-Rob has account for 50% of the Rays’ offense this past week. Or maybe a puddle just seems like an oasis to a thirsty man in a desert.

The Rays and the White Sox traded home runs from some unlikely sources in the fifth. Joey Wendle hit a laser to right field on a swing that must have really stung:

White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez seemed to unravel a little bit, as he quickly allowed a double to Carlos Gomez and a single to Matt Duffy, which scored yet another run. The White Sox called to Gregory Infante, who benefited from a good play by center fielder Leury Garcia to throw out a hustling Matt Duffy at home, denying the Rays another insurance run. In the half-inning after, however, Archer allowed a two-out (0-2 count!) home run to Nicky Delmonico to erase the good work the Rays did in the top half.

In the sixth the Rays and White Sox traded runs once again, and once again was helped by a little #MallexMagic. After a single, Smith rounded the bases on a wild pitch, a stolen base, and an RBI single from Denard Span, who holy cow has been soooooo much better than I thought he would be. Seriously, I owe that guy a fruit basket or something. Mallex would finish the day a homer shy of the cycle. What a grand thing that would have been to see.

But the White Sox struck back in the bottom of the inning, forcing Chris Archer out of the game after 5.2 innings. The White Sox seemed to threaten every inning, but Rays pitching managed to wiggle its way out of trouble when trouble seemed certain. And nothing exemplified that more than Colome’s treatment of the ninth inning.

Colome did his darnedest to give this game away in the ninth. I mean it, he really, really did. First off, he walked Jose Abreu, who was 1-for-6 with 4 K’s against Colome lifetime. Then, he allowed a hit to Nicky Delmonico to put men on first and second. Colome was missing his spots, and missing badly. After going ahead 0-2 to the next batter (who was swinging away and not bunting), Colome just decided to do his work for him and advance the batters anyway. A wild pitch put them at second and third with no outs. At this point I nearly turned the game off, but I’m glad I didn’t. Because like I said before, this was the game nobody wanted to win.

Delmonico chopped a weak ball back to Colome for the first out. Then Cash pulled the infield in, and put a very strange shift on Tim Anderson, with three men on the left side pulled in. You could see the game-winning hit coming a mile away. Except, as it turns out, this was a perfect defensive alignment. Like clockwork, Anderson chopped it right to Duffy, who almost tagged out Abreu at third with a modest lead. Dewayne Staats then said “Colome would really like a ground ball to first base here” and, as if by magic, three seconds later Leury Garcia chopped an easy grounder to C.J. Cron at first, sealing the Rays win. It happened by the skin of their teeth, and it happened basically because of some offensive ineptitude by a Chicago team in full-rebuild...but it happened.

Congrats to Colome on the achievement, now let’s ease up on the heart attack stuff, huh?