Tonight’s game was a roller coaster of emotions for Rays fans. Fortunately, in the end, everything seems as though it will be fine with Chris Archer and Wil Myers. Unfortunately, the game ended on a down note, as the Diamondbacks came back against the Rays to sweep the two game series.
The Rays came out on fire, plating three runs in the top of the first. Matthew Joyce had an RBI double, and Yunel Escobar had a two run double deep to left as it appeared as though the Rays were going to get to the Diamondbacks bullpen early. Arizona got a run back in the bottom of the inning against Chris Archer, putting runners on first and second with no outs. Paul Goldschmidt singled to plate a run, and Archer appeared to be having issues with his control. However, a double play on a strikeout and a caught stealing got Archer back on track, and the Rays escaped without further damage.
However, even though the Rays got to Arizona starter Randall Delgado early, it was Archer who would have an early night. On a 2-0 pitch with two outs, Archer hopped on the mound after releasing a pitch. After a conversation on the mound, Archer was lifted for what would later be diagnosed as forearm tightness, which is not expected to be serious.
Alex Torres, who had been virtually untouchable came in, and ran into trouble in the third. Martin Prado, who was a thorn in the Rays side all night, had a two run homer and Aaron Hill had an RBI double to give the Diamondbacks the lead. Kelly Johnson tied the game in the top of the fourth, belting a home run against his former team, but the Diamondbacks pulled back in front in the fifth. Kyle Farnsworth entered in relief of Torres, and promptly ran into trouble, putting runners on second and third. After a hard line drive to short, Jake McGee entered. Eric Chavez had an RBI single, and Hill had his second RBI double to put the Diamondbacks back on top.
Down 7-4, the Rays came back in the seventh, loading the bases with two outs. Evan Longoria had a two run double, and Sam Fuld, pinch hitting for a suddenly missing Wil Myers, had a two run single to put the Rays back on top. It was later revealed that Myers was dealing with issues with his asthma, and is expected to be ready for Friday’s game.
Arizona managed another comeback in the bottom of the eighth. With the bases loaded and one out, Prado once again came through, this time against closer Fernando Rodney. On an 0-1 count, Prado lined a two run single to right, giving the Diamondbacks a 9-8 lead. For Rodney, that was his first blown save since May 25th.
The Rays mounted a rally in the top of the ninth. Ben Zobrist singled with one out, and Joyce worked a walk to put runners on first and second. Evan Longoria grounded up the middle, and the ball appeared ticketed for center. However, Hill got to the ball, and started the game ending double play as the Rays were swept in the two game set. Joel Peralta took the loss, giving up two runs on a hit and a walk, striking out two in 1.1 innings of work.
Joyce was 3-3 with a double, a run, an RBI and two walks. Five Rays had two hits each, and the Diamondbacks turned six double plays as Tampa was unable to take advantage of their chances.