Rays 8, Dodgers 7: Pen game goes well until … uh, the pen came in

For some unholy reason, the Dodgers and Rays are playing home and away series of two games each this year. The Dodgers seemed to at least take the season series tonight, but a late pen meltdown led to a Rays come back and an 8-7 loss.

At least it pissed off the Yankees.


After using an opener last night, the Dodgers did the same tonight by sending former Rays pitcher Casey Sadler to the mound against his old team. He gave up a single, but did his job with a strikeout and two ground outs. Unfortunately, the defense didn’t do theirs, as one of those grounders was an error on Chris Taylor and extended the inning.

Dylan Floro entered in relief of Sadler and gave up a single on his first pitch that gave the Rays the 1-0 lead before getting out of the inning with a strikeout. Floro continued in the 2nd and cruised to a 1-2-3 frame that included a K.

The offense came up big in the 2nd with a crooked number against Brendan McKay to take the lead. Cody Bellinger blooped a double to left against the shift, Enrique Hernandez walked, and Max Muncy doubled them both in to make it 2-1 with still nobody out.

After Corey Seager advanced Muncy to third on a ground out, Muncy then scored on a sac fly to right from Will Smith to make it 3-1.

Julio Urias was next out of the pen in the 3rd, striking out three batters and allowing just a single. Tony Gonsolin, who was supposed to start, finally got into the game in the 4th with a clean inning. However, the 5th didn’t go as planned. He surrendered three walks in the frame as well as a two-run double that tied the game at 3-3.

That was all for Gonsolin, as Yimi Garcia entered in a tie game in the 6th, got a line out and a strikeout but then gave up a double. That led to Dave Roberts turning to his fireman Joe Kelly, who immediately gave up the go-ahead single to make it 4-3 before getting out of the inning with a ground out.

Thankfully the Dodgers came right back in their half of the 6th. A.J. Pollock singled to start and stole second, then Taylor followed with a single of his own to put runners at the corners. With one down, Joc Pederson pinch-hit and barely missed a three-run dong, but rebounded to single to left against the shift on the very next pitch to tie the game at 4-4.

That put runners at the corners again, which proved important as the go-ahead run came home on a cross-up passed ball that made it 5-4.

Dustin May was then tasked with protecting the lead, which probably served as a sort of audition for a playoff role. He got into trouble immediately in the 7th, allowing back-to-back singles, but then rebounded with two strikeouts and escaped trouble with a line out. May continued in the 8th and gave up another single to start, but that was erased on a caught stealing thanks to Smith and he ended up facing the minimum after a strikeout and infield pop up.

In the 8th, Bellinger provided insurance with his 45th dong of the year yanked off the foul pole in right.

Joe Davis called it.

That brought in Kenley Jansen for the 9th, and he has looked about as good as he has since 2017 in his last few outings. After getting a line out to start, he then gave up a single to Tommy Pham on a nice piece of hitting, which is hard to get too upset over. However, he then issued a walk to Matt Duffy, who has been terrible this year, which brought the go-ahead run to the plate. Kenley then seemed to rebound to get a strikeout and setup a save with the next batter, but while the umpire even seemed like he was about to ring the batter up, he decided … not to.


Anyway, on the very next pitch, Kenley threw a ball at the bottom of the zone that caught too much plate and he gave up a single to make it 6-5. That was followed by a sac fly to tie the game at 6-6 before he got out of it with a ground out. Not great.

After the offense couldn’t walk it off, Josh Sborz was tasked with the 10th. He gave up a single to start but erased it with a double play and then got a strikeout to end it. But he was also tasked with the 11th against the top of the order and that went about as expected. Austin Meadows started with a no-doubter to right to make it 7-6, and then a double, ground out, and sac fly later and it was 8-6 before he got out of it.

The bats managed to threaten with the winning run at the plate in the 11th behind a Corey Seager single and Will Smith reaching on a boner in right, then Edwin Rios cut the lead in half with a single to drive in Seager and make it 8-7. However, Russell Martin couldn’t come up with the big hit, striking out to end the game.

Hey, at least this happened.


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"A highly rational Internet troll." - Los Angeles Times