CHICAGO -- Finally, the Rays notch a W."We talked about before the game, needing a win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the Rays' 5-4 win over the White Sox on Monday afternoon. "It was nice to find a way to get one. It certainly wasn't easy. But when you're
CHICAGO -- Finally, the Rays notch a W.
"We talked about before the game, needing a win," Rays manager Kevin Cash said after the Rays' 5-4 win over the White Sox on Monday afternoon. "It was nice to find a way to get one. It certainly wasn't easy. But when you're 1-8, you'll take them any way you can get them."
Almost two weeks ago, the Rays won an exciting home opener, but since then had lost eight straight heading into their series with the White Sox. On Monday, their fortunes reversed at Guaranteed Rate Field, even though they had to fight through a familiar script in the ninth inning.
Alex Colome entered the game in the ninth to try and protect a one-run lead. A day earlier in Boston, the Rays' closer had entered with two outs in the eighth and took the loss in a game that saw the Red Sox score six in the eighth to win by one run.
Colome didn't get off to an ideal beginning on Monday, walking leadoff batter Jose Abreu before giving up a single to Nicky Delmonico. If that wasn't a bad enough start, Colome then uncorked a wild pitch to put the tying and winning runs in scoring position.
Then the Rays' fortunes began to turn. Yolmer Sanchez hit a comebacker to Colome, who threw to first for the first out. Cash then drew in his infield.
"It's a gamble," Cash said. "We needed to win the game. Once we got one out, we were going to force the issue. If a ball finds the hole and gets through there, and the winning run from second comes to score. That's on me."
Rays third baseman Matt Duffy picked up a comment from White Sox third-base coach Nick Capra to Abreu at third just before Colome's pitch.
"Right when Colo was about to lift his leg, I heard their third-base coach say, 'Let it go through,'" Duffy said. Translation: the runner wasn't running on contact. Tim Anderson grounded to Duffy, who knew he had to just "be secure with the baseball. Don't over rush."
Duffy followed suit, throwing to first for the second out.
That brought left-handed-hitting Leury Garcia to the plate and prompted a mound visit by pitching coach Kyle Snyder.
"He asked if I wanted to walk the batter and face the next guy, and I said, 'I want to face [Garcia],'" Colome said. "I want to go right after him."
Colome threw Garcia two cutters, and on the second, Garcia grounded out to C.J. Cron at first to end the game.
"On the day, we just needed that one big hit," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I thought it did line up very well toward the end, we just couldn't get that big knock to at least, at that point, maybe win the ballgame."
Chris Archer, who started for the Rays and picked up his first win of the season, said the team never lost faith in Colome.
"He's an All-Star," Archer said. "He's led the league in saves. He's had multiple great years. Baseball's a long season. You're going to have some bumps in the road. We trust him. Other people might doubt, but we trust him. We know the work he puts in. So [it's] no surprise. It was great he did it. But it was no surprise."
Joey Wendle hit his first home run of the season and Mallex Smith matched a career high with four hits to pace a Rays offense that collected a season-high 14 hits. Archer went 5 2/3 innings and gave up four runs (three earned) while the bullpen contributed 3 1/3 scoreless frames.
The White Sox start the season 0-4 at home following a sweep by the Tigers. Yoan Moncada reached base four times, including on two walks, and Delmonico hit his first homer of the season in the loss.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A crooked number: Wendle homered to open the fifth for the Rays, and Carlos Gomez followed with a double to right before moving to third on Cron's flyout to center. Duffy first tried to score Gomez with a bunt that went foul. Then he went the old-fashioned way by lacing a single to right to score Gomez and give the Rays a much-needed crooked number in the frame.
Defending the plate: The Rays had a couple of chances to break Monday's game open, but were stopped by some excellent White Sox defense. In the fourth inning, Smith dashed home from third on a hard ground ball. Chicago shortstop Anderson, with the infield playing in, picked up the short hop and nailed Smith at the plate to prevent the Rays from scoring a second run in the inning. Then in the fifth, center fielder Garcia fielded Wilson Ramos' single and threw out Duffy at home on the fly to keep the score at 4-1 Tampa Bay.
"Things happen. You have to turn the page and be ready for tomorrow. That was the plan for today." -- Smith, on the Rays' rebound Monday from a tough loss on Sunday
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Archer (1,066) passed David Price (1,065) for second on the Rays' all-time strikeout list. Archer now only trails James Shields (1,250). Archer has struck out six or more batters in five of his last six starts.
MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Rays had a third runner thrown out at home in the eighth inning. With one out, Smith stood at third base when White Sox reliever Luis Avilan attempted a pickoff throw to first. Smith took off for the plate, but Abreu fired home from first in time to get Smith out at the plate. The Rays challenged the out call, but the ruling stood after a two-minute review.
Rays:Blake Snell will start for the Rays on Tuesday when the Rays meet the White Sox in a 2:10 p.m. ET contest at Guaranteed Rate Field. On Wednesday, Snell allowed a pair of homers to the Yankees, lasting just 3 1/3 innings. He is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA in two starts against the White Sox, both at Guaranteed Rate Field.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.