Once again, the last-place Royals embarrass Rays

by Gary Shelton on May 12, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Dickerson robs Eric Rasmus of homer in a play that should have set the tone, but didn't../STEVEN MUNCIE

Dickerson robs Eric Rasmus of homer in a play that should have set the tone, but didn't../STEVEN MUNCIE

Friday, 4 a.m.

Thank goodness the Kansas City Royals are leaving town.

The Royals, which have been absolutely dreadful against the rest of the American League, left St. Petersburg Thursday night with little chunks of Tampa Bay Rays between their cleats.The Royals, still in last place in the AL Central, took three of four from the Rays, the last one in rather embrarassing fashion, 6-0.

The Rays managed only four hits Thursday – and struck out 44 times in the four games – in one of their least memorable series of the season. The Rays committed six errors, and the bullpen gave up 13 runs in the series. Kansas City scored at least six runs in its three victories.

In all, the Rays went 3-6 in a homestand against Miami, Toronto and Kansas City, who are a combined 39-62 on the season.

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Once again, Kiermaier was leaky in center field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Once again, Kiermaier was leaky in center field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kiermaier rarely has a series as sloppy as this one./STEVEN MUNCIE

Kiermaier rarely has a series as sloppy as this one./STEVEN MUNCIE

Gold glove centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier played as if his mitt was a lesser metal. He committed three errors in the four games.

“It's not the way we wanted to finish out the homestand, obviously,” said manager Kevin Cash. “Odo threw the ball really well. It said a lot about Odo. I don’t think he felt very good, as far as...from a stuff standpoint. He was battling. They had some good swings. You could tell, he didn’t have the stuff he normally has.

“He didn’t have the feel for his pitches. But, for him to give up one run through six was really impressive and gave us every chance to win. Their guy, (Jason) Vargas, we have a good understanding of why he’s gotten out of the gate so hot here and why he’s having such a good first month to his season. He makes pitches well. I don’t think he really did anything that caught us off guard or

fooled us, it’s just...you look at what he’s done. He’s given up one home run on the year and that says something.

Odorizzi was able to keep the Rays close for awhile../STEVEN MUNCIE

Odorizzi was able to keep the Rays close for awhile../STEVEN MUNCIE

There are games in which the Rays' bats have gone dark, silenced by a good pitcher. That was case Thursday afternoon. Vargas threw seven innings of three-hit, shutout baseball.

"I mean, Vargas did a really good job,” said Logan Morrison. “That was the difference. He's been doing a good job this whole year. I think he has below average stuff, but he puts it where he wants to. Elevated fastball I think it seemed harder than it is. Put it on the corners. He's got a big breaking ball, big slow breaking ball and so it keeps you off balance. It'll be good to get (Steven) Souza back soon to help our offense out, but at the same time we got to do a better job of getting guys on."

Kiermaier's problems in centerfield continued. Given his stellar defense in past seasons, it may be the biggest mystery on the Rays.

"Just unbelievable man,” Kiermaier said. “You know for me to have the

Longoria makes defensive play in Rays' defeat../STEVEN MUNCIE

Longoria makes defensive play in Rays' defeat../STEVEN MUNCIE

defensive series I had this past four days was unlike anything I've ever experienced, and that's what happens when you take your eye off the ball. I played a bad job on my part, and like I said the other night, just couldn't believe it happened. To do it again today was truly unbelievable, and like I said, I'm owning up to it. Got to get your glove on the ground, and that's something I didn't do...it's been a tough couple of days for me."

The Rays wasted a good start by Jake Odorizzi, who left with a 1-0 deficit. The bullpen gave up five runs in the eighth.

“Not smooth,” Odorizzi said. “Just a tough day. I had good defense behind me, too. That always helps. Corey made an incredible play to open the game up and

Dickerson looks to see if his swing was good enough./STEVEN MUNCIE

Dickerson looks to see if his swing was good enough./STEVEN MUNCIE

kind of stop the bleeding a little bit. It was just one of those games where you’re fighting to find your command, do this and that, but I’m very thankful that it was only one run and I tried to keep us in it the best I could.”

Corey Dickerson flashed a bit of hope in the first, going over the fence to take a home run away from Eric Hosmer.

“Oh man, that was a tremendous play,” Cash said. “That excited, kind of woke the dugout up for sure. You’d like to be able to add on right then to keep it rolling. ...We’ve talked about Corey a lot. He’s played tremendous on both sides of the ball. That was just a spectacular catch.”

The Rays now travel to Boston for three games against the Red Sox. Alex Cobb will pitch against Rick Porcello in the opener.

Logan Morrison makes a sliding catch to get an out./STEVEN MUNCIE

Logan Morrison makes a sliding catch to get an out./STEVEN MUNCIE

 

 

 

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