Smith’s wobbly play leads to Rays’ defeat

by Gary Shelton on June 2, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Mallex Smith had a tough night in center field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Mallex Smith had a tough night in center field./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 3 a.m.

In the on-again, off-again season of Mallex Smith, count Friday night among the more forgettable performances of his young career.

Smith tried twice to dive for fly balls in the fourth inning of a 4-3, 13-inning loss to Seattle. Both times he missed, and the batters ended ups with a triple and a double. Smith also struck out three times and was thrown out at third for the final out in the first inning.

The defeat lowered the Rays' record back to .500 on the season.

Mitch Haniger hit a 3-2 pitch for a home run to win the game in the bottom of the 13th off of reliever Matt Andriese.

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Gomez hit a home run for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Gomez hit a home run for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Once again, the Rays stumbled on the base paths. They lead the majors in outs recorded on the bases this season.

"It’s pretty frustrating," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We play close games and those things get  magnified. We’ve learned that over many discussions. We’ve got to go back to the drawing board."

Cash didn't blame Smith for the first-inning gaffe on the base paths, but his too dives that fell short were harmful.

"It shows up," Cash said. "We want him to go after the ball and do everything to make plays."

The Rays used seven pitchers on the night, but six of them worked for five outs or fewer.

Andriese gave up the winning home run./CARMEN MANDATO

Andriese gave up the winning home run./CARMEN MANDATO

Seattle took a 3-0 lead, but the Rays came back on back-to-back home runs by Carlos Gomez and Johnny Field. In the ninth, Matt Duffy singled in Joey Wendle  with the tying run.

However, the Rays managed only three hits in their four extra innings before losing.

Today, the Rays and Mariners go at it again at 10:10 p.m.  Chris Archer will pitch for the Rays against Marco Gonzalez.

Duffy tied the game with a ninth-inning single./CARMEN MANDATO

Duffy tied the game with a ninth-inning single./CARMEN MANDATO

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