Joe Maddon had a challenge in his back pocket, and he had a chance to put an end Friday night's game against the White Sox by using it after Adam Eaton was ruled safe at first on a potential game-winning double-play ball.
"I just had to give it a shot," Maddon said. "Who knows?"
Replays confirmed conclusively that Eaton beat the throw from Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar. The Rays went on to lose the game two batters later, when closer Grant Balfour surrendered a walk-off grand slam to White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in the bottom of the ninth.
The ruling allowed Alejandro De Aza, who had been on third base before the play, to score, cutting the Rays' lead to 6-5. Balfour then proceeded to walk Marcus Semien, setting the stage for Abreu's heroics.
Despite losing the challenge, Maddon made what seemed to be the prudent move, making certain not to let his one challenge go to waste. Maddon has now lost five of his eight challenges this season, and he has gotten a call overturned just once in his last six tries.