Colome closes his 40th as Rays overpower Royals

by Gary Shelton on August 31, 2017 · 0 comments

in Baseball, general, Tampa Bay Rays

Morrison, Souza hit key home runs for Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Morrison, Souza hit key home runs for Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 2 a.m.

He devours last chances. That's his job.

He slams doors. He nails coffin lids shut. He takes away hope.

This is Alex Colome's job. Pretty much, he smothers the other team's last chance.

Colome was at it again Wednesday night, closing his 40th game of the season in a 5-3 victory ovr the Kansas City Royals. Colome has now thrown scoreless baseball in 12 of his last 13 appearances for the Rays. These days, zeroes are even more commonplace than scowls and crooked caps.

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Colome, once again, slammed the door shut./CARMEN MANDATO

Colome, once again, slammed the door shut./CARMEN MANDATO

“Special,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said of Colome. “He's a special performer. He's a special player. What he does to close out games, the way he goes in to whatever we ask him today. Alex sets the tone. There aren't many closers who do that. I'm glad he's having the season he's having.”

The Rays got their winning runs via the longball. In the fifth inning, Steven Souza Jr.

Odorizzi gave up a three-run homer, but nothing else./JEFFREY S. KING

Odorizzi gave up a three-run homer, but nothing else./JEFFREY S. KING

hit a long home run down the left field line. Two batters later, Logan Morrison hit an even longer homer down the right field line.

Reliever Steve Cishek was solid again for the Rays. He threw two innings of shutout ball. He's now appeared in 15 games, and he has yet to give up a run.

Cishek was impressed with Colome, too.

“His calmness,” Cishek said of Colome's most impressed feature. “When I first met him, I didn't know what to think. He's a really intimidating looking guy. But he's one of the nicest guys on the planet. He's cool to be around. He's calm with nasty stuff. It's not surprising he's had so much success.”

For Souza, it was his 29th homer of the season.

“We're in a crucial spot now,” Souza said. “We've got to win every series from now on out. These are really big wins. I've been mediocre at best for the last couple of weeks. I'd be the first one to say I've got a long way to go.”

For the Rays, Jake Odorizzi went five innings and gave up only a three-run homer to Whit Merrifield.

The Rays have today off, then play agains the White Sox. In Friday night's game (8:10 p.m.), Blake Snell pitches against Reynaldo Lopez of the Sox.

Cash liked what he saw Wednesday night./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash liked what he saw Wednesday night./JEFFREY S. KING

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