First half ends with Rays needing to make a move

by Gary Shelton on June 30, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Archer needed more support to have a chance against Pittsburgh./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Archer needed more support to have a chance against Pittsburgh./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Friday, 2 a.m.

Halfway home, and what do you think of the Tampa Bay Rays.

A little more than half of the games won. A little less than half of them lost.

Two teams in the AL East ahead of them. Two teams in the AL East behind them.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Rays have been a mixed bag so far. They have so much offense, and their bullpen allows opposig teams so much of it, too. Which leaves you to wonder: Can the Rays overtake the Red Sox and Yankees? Or can they fall behind the Orioles and Blue Jays?

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Morrison had two hits to lead the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Morrison had two hits to lead the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Halfway through the season, all things are possible. The Rays were beaten 4-0 Thursday night, leaving them at 41-40 at the midpoint of the season. They have lost four of their last five, and in their last two, they left 21 runners on base.

So what do you believe? A good run? A bad one? Will the team return to health? Or will it struggle as it tries to allow injured players to get better?

Certainly, you would like not to believe that the Pittsburgh series was indicative of the things to come. The Pirates beat Chris Archer, the Rays' most talented pitcher, with two solo home runs. Archer gave up only three earned runs, but he would have had to throw a shutout to get a tie.

“We lost,” Archer said. “I'm wishing I could have executed a handful of pitches at a higher level – kept the game a little closer and giving us a better chance. I've got to be better.”

Cash has seen his team lose two straight series./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash has seen his team lose two straight series./JEFFREY S. KING

Logan Morrison, Shane Peterson and Jesus Sucre all had two hits for the Rays, but once again, Tampa Bay struggled with runners in scoring positions.

For the Pirates, John Jaso (an ex-Ray) and Gregory Polanco  hit solo homers. Andrew McCutcheon had three hits for the Pirates.

The Rays start their second half of the season tonight in Baltimore when Jacob Faria faces Chris Tillman.

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