In the standings, it registered as just one game in the middle of a long and winding baseball season. But the win pulled out by the Tampa Bay Rays on the eve of the All-Star break meant far more than that.
In fact, given how difficult life has been for them lately, you couldn't have scripted a more emotionally uplifting victory for the Rays Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
You couldn't have imagined a more unlikely hero to jump-start a rousing ninth-inning comeback -- or a more daunting reliever to victimize when the pressure was on and the odds long.
You couldn't have seen a game decided by fewer inches -- just shy of the outstretched glove worn by diving Indians centerfielder Michael Brantley -- than the one played out on Progressive Field.
Put it this way: If the Rays wind up weathering their onslaught of injuries, continue the kind of clutch hitting they displayed late Sunday and eventually reach the post-season, they'll likely look back on their three-run rally in the ninth a...