Rays don’t do the simple things in defeat

by Gary Shelton on April 12, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Pruitt gave up the winning homer./JEFFREY S. KING

Pruitt gave up the winning homer./JEFFREY S. KING

Friday, 3 a.m.

It's the ultimate rule in baseball: The big moments will devour the bad teams.

All of which lead to the Tampa Bay Rays, who have some explaining to do.

The Rays lost a 2-1 game to the Chicago White Sox because they fell short in the crucial moments.

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Smith dropped a fly ball I left field./JEFFREY S. KING

Smith dropped a fly ball in left field./JEFFREY S. KING

For instance:

In the bottom of the seventh inning, outfielder Mallex Smith dropped a routine fly ball to left. He then picked up the ball and threw it wild, allowing Omar Narvaez to go to third.

In the bottom of the eighth, Austin Pruitt -- pitching because Alex Colome and Sergio Romo were taxed -- gave up a two-run homer to Matt Davidson, leading to the loss.

And throughout the game, the Rays were impotent offensively, collecting only four hits in their defeat. It lowered the Rays' record to 3-9 on the season

For the Rays, the loss was a waste of a third successful outing by Yonny Chirinos, who went 5 1/3 innings without giving up an earned run. On the season, Chirinos has pitched 14 1/3 innings without giving up a run and seems to have taken over the fourth slot in the starting rotation.

"I've been very impressed," said Rays manager Kevin Cash. "He's been outstanding early in the season. He's a talented young pitcher. We’re really excited about how he’s performed and what’s to come."

Still, the bullpen days have taxed the Rays, who have used 52 pitchers in 12 games.

The Rays remain in the AL East cellar after the loss.

Cash said it was weariness in the bullpen that led him to use Pruitt late in the game.

"We were pretty taxed in the bullpen," Cash said.

The Rays are off today, then play the Phillies at home on Friday when Jake Faria pitches against Vince Velasquez . Game time is 7:10 p.m.

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