Rays, Colome survive in team’s victory over Cubs

by Gary Shelton on July 5, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Colombia again got a save despite a rough outing./STEVE MUNCIE

Colome again got a save despite a rough outing./STEVE MUNCIE

Wednesday, 1 a.m.

Sitting in the other dugout, Joe Maddon must have recognized the ride.

After all, he has seen it before.

On the mound was a closer, struggling to hang on. Alex Colome of the Tampa Bay Rays was enduring his fifth straight rough outing — over the streak, he's given up 10 runs, 10 hits, six walks and two hit batters. A 6-1 lead (6-3 when he entered the game) was slipping away against the World Champion Cubs.

Once, when he was with the Rays, Maddon watched Rafael Soriano blow leads (three in 2010). He had watched Fernando Rodney, the archer, do the same. He blew eight in 2013. He's used to seeing a pitcher struggle.

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Beckman hit a two-run homer to lead Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

Beckman hit a two-run homer to lead Tampa Bay./CARMEN MANDATO

This time, Maddon was in the other dugout, watching his team roar from behind. Somehow, however, Colome settled down again. In those five high-wire outings, he's had three saves and a win. He's just made a few infielders nervous along the way. He needed 38 pitches to get through the inning.

“He's in a little bit of a rut,” manager Kevin Cash admitted. “It's nothing physical. There was a swinging bunt to start the inning off, then he walked a batter. That's on him”

Still, it was a good day for the Rays. Starting pitcher Chris Archer notched his

Archer won his seventh game with his arm -- and his bat./JEFFREY S. KING

Archer won his seventh game with his arm -- and his bat./JEFFREY S. KING

seventh win of the year — and in so doing, had an RBI single and scored a run. Tim Beckham hit a two-run homer, and Steven Souza Jr. had a two-run double.

“We needed a good start from Arch,” Cash said. “He provided that on the mound and at the plate.”

Archer's single came in the team's five-run fourth inning. After failing to get down a bunt on his first two strikes — and with first baseman Anthony Rizzo playing him in close, Archer squared and hit the ball up the middle. Archer had been 0-for-23 at the plate.

“That felt good,” Archer said. “I talked to Cash before the game and he said that if Rizzo was in my face, I could square around and slash.”

A bigger moment for Archer came in the bottom of the sixth, when the Cubs put runners on first and second with no one out. Archer struck out the side, however.

Archer went six innings and allowed three earned runs while striking out eight. Relievers Brad Boxberger and Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless inning each.

“That was a big moment in his season for us,” Cash said.

The Rays go for a sweep of the two-game series today at Wrigley. Blake Snell (0-5) tries to get his first win when he pitches against Chicago's John Lackey.

Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless inning for Rays./STEVE MUNCIE

Tommy Hunter pitched a scoreless inning for Rays./STEVE MUNCIE

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