D-Rays 6, Cleveland 5. Friday night was a big night for the psyche of the team and the team’s fans, although they would throw all that away the next two games, but more on that later. The simplest way to describe the Rays in the second have of the season, is as a losing team. Seems simplistic and obvious, but ever so true. They just have not been competitive. There has been no life…no spark…no excitement. The team has looked dead. Then again, there has not been anything to be excited about. Even the few wins they have had in the 2nd half have not been very exciting. The team needed Friday night. Needed to remember that winning is fun. Even more importantly, the team needed to remember that they could win a game like that. To do to another team what has been done to the Rays too many times this season…come from behind. The Rays entered the bottom of the 7th down 5-1 and on their way to what looked like another typical Rays loss. Travis Lee found a little power in his stick with an opposite field home run to make it 5-2. In the top of the 8th, Rudy Lugo got out of a 1st and 2nd, 1-out jam with inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. In the bottom of the 8th, doubles by Ben Zobrist and Jonny Gomes cut the lead to 2. Seth McClung came on in the 9th and worked a perfect inning to keep the Native Americans in check. Then came the magic. The bottom of the 9th. Lee led of the 9th with a drive off the center field wall for a double. We don’t mean to pick on Travis Lee after this game. He was a big reason the Rays came from behind, but this double showed exactly why Travis Lee is the hitter that he is. Lee hit 22 home runs his rookie year for the Diamondbacks. He has only hit 20 home runs once since then and probably will never hit 20 again. The ball just doesn’t ever explode off his bat. In this particular at bat, Lee got a 94 mph fastball and he absolutely crushed it, and the ball only made it to the wall. He is the epitome of warning track power, but it appears as though he is still trying to be a power hitter…back to the game…After a Dioner Navarro single and a Greg Norton strikeout, something strange happened…The Rays received a doe of good luck. Yes, something good happened for the Rays. Rocco Baldelli hit a tailor-made double play groundball, that hit perfectly on the lip of the infield and bounced over Johnny Peralta’s head into left field to make the score 5-4 with out. Ben Zobrist then did what he does best. He found a way to get on base. BenZo will probably never be a great major league hitter, but like we have stated before, this team was desperate for somebody that just gets on base. The team was in need of a typical #2 hitter. A guy that can move runners over, sacrifice and get on base. Zobrist does that. So it was fitting that Zobrist was in the #2 hole on Friday and in the 9th inning, he worked a 1-out walk to put the game in the hands of the team’s best hitter, Carl Crawford. In moving to the 2-spot, Zobrist allows C. C. to hit in what should be his natural spot in the order, #3. With the bases loaded and the corner infielders playing in, Crawford fell behind 0-2 in the count. That did not phase C. C. as he ripped the next pitch down the first base line for a game-winning 2 run, walk off single. Rays win!
Cleveland 5, D-Rays 3. On Saturday night, it looked like the team would be able to build on the momentum from Friday night. Dioner Navarro (Tobey who?) hit a 2-run double to get the scoring started in the first and stake the Rays to an early lead. But then came the D-Rays that we know and love and loathe. You know this team right? Tim Corcoran struggled mightily and couldn’t hold the lead. He did manage to survive 4 walks in the first two innings but his luck ran out in the 4th when he gave up 3 runs and the lead. A Travis Haffner homer in the 7th and an Andy Marte double in the 8th gave the Indians a 5-3 lead. After that, the Rays never really threatened and the series was tied 1-1.