Rays’ stranded runners haunt them in defeat

by Gary Shelton on August 17, 2017 · 0 comments

in general

Faria's start wasn't awful, but he took the loss./CARMEN MANDATO

Faria's start wasn't awful, but he took the loss./CARMEN MANDATO

Thursday, 2 a.m.

As the victories have disappeared for the Tampa Bay Rays, there is no doubt of where they have gone.

To die at second base, and to be abandoned at third.

Once again, the Tampa Bay Rays left a victory on base Wednesday night. They lost, 3-2, and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Over their last 12 games (3-9), the Rays have gone five-for-62, a 0.81 batting average.

Throw in a leaky defense — such as a ball bouncing over the head of Mallex Smith, who

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Longoria was upset about a third strike call in the seventh./CARMEN MANDATO

Longoria was upset about a third strike call in the seventh./CARMEN MANDATO

also had trouble on Tuesday night -- and it's little wonder that the Rays returned to the land of the losing against the Jays.

“When we're not hitting, we've got to play pretty clean baseball,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “I don't feel like we did that tonight.”

Rookie pitcher Jake Faria wasn't great, but he was probably good enough to win if the Rays were hitting. They aren't. Take the seventh inning, for instance, when the team had the bases loaded with one out. Evan Longoria struck out — he argued the call -- and Logan Morrison popped up.

Smith had two hits and scored twice./CARMEN MANDATO

Smith had two hits and scored twice./CARMEN MANDATO

third strike — and Logan Morrison popped up. In the ninth, the Rays had a runner on when Steve Souza, Jr. looked at a called third strike.

“Longo, you just don't see him react like that,” Cash said. “I'm sure there is frustration in there. It was one of those borderline pitches. But he never shows anything. That's what was more concerning. It makes you wonder 'where was the pitch.'”

Smith and Corey Dickerson each had two hits for the Rays, who are now two games under .500. They've fallen to 2 ½ games behind in the wild-card race.

Today, the Rays play an afternoon game (4:07 p.m.) in Toronto. Chris Archer of the Rays will pitch against Chris Rowley.

Romo pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and was perfect./CARMEN MANDATO

Romo pitched the final 1 2/3 innings and was perfect./JEFFREY S. KING

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