Once again, Rays return to the land of the loss

by Gary Shelton on August 12, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Smith safely slides into first in the 8th/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Smith safely slides into first in the 8th/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Saturday, 2 a.m.

Sometimes, a big home run snaps a slump. And sometimes, it is just a break in the pain.

The Tampa Bay Rays nestled right back into their funk Friday night, being shut out for the fifth time in their last 18 games (and fourth time in this homestand) in a 5-0 beating by the Cleveland Indians. The Rays managed only three hits, none of them before the seventh inning.

The depth of the Rays' slump is baffling. It was the fourth time the Rays have been shut out in a week. Four times, they have been held to four hits or less, this time by Cleveland's Carlos Carrasco. The only two games the Rays have won in their last seven have come on a ninth-inning homer by Steven Souza and a three-run shot by Corey Dickerson.

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Carrasco tamed the Ryas with a three-hitter./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Carrasco tamed the Rays with a three-hitter./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Aside from that, the Rays once again turned into a swing-and-miss team that seems content to watch the wild

Faria started well, but gave up five in the fifth./ANDREW J. KRAMER

Faria started well, but gave up five in the fifth./ANDREW J. KRAMER

card race go on without them.

“I think it’s fair to say that Carrasco enjoys pitching at this ballpark for whatever reason,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “This is three years now that it seems he’s put together pretty dominant performances and you can definitely see why when he’s 93-96, keeping the ball down and featuring the changeup and slider. It’s going to be difficult righty or lefty, it doesn’t matter. He was so efficient and kept attacking the strike zone. From the other side, pretty impressive to watch. “

Sound familiar? Cash seems to start every press conference this year by praising the opposing pitcher.

For the Rays, Jacob Faria started well, too, before giving up five runs in the fifth. It led to Faria's third loss in four games.

“I think that 5th inning ... it was on me,” Faria said. “I should have thrown more pitches out of the stretch in my warmups. At that point in the first four innings, I hadn’t thrown out of it much. It just comes down to being on top of it. Coming out of my delivery a little bit and not making the adjustment quick enough to limit the damage.”

The Rays are now only one game above .500. They play against Cleveland again tonight, when Chris Archer pitches against Mike Clevinger. Game time is 6:10 p.m. at the Trop.

Plouffe singles to left in the ninth/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Plouffe singles to left in the ninth/ANDREW J. KRAMER

 

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