Twins rough up another Rays’ starting pitcher

by Gary Shelton on July 14, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Eovaldi didn't last very long against Twins./JEFFREY S. KING

Eovaldi didn't last very long against Twins./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

They were the guys you trusted the most, the guys you were certain you could rely upon.

Nate and Blake.

Blake and Nate

They were the the real starters, the guys that the rest of the jumble of the Rays' pitching rotation was built around. For all the "bullpen days" that the Rays have used so often, Blake Snell and Nathan Eovaldi were solid. Snell was the all-star. Eovaldi was the guy who kept flirting with no-hitters.

Then the Twins clobbered Snell.

And then they walloped Eovaldi.

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Bauers had one home run and almost a second./JEFFREY S. KING

Bauers had one home run and almost a second./JEFFREY S. KING

On Friday night, the Twins had their way with Eovaldi, hitting him for eight runs in two and two-thirds innings. And even though the Rays flirted with a comeback (cutting an 8-1 deficit to 8-7), it wasn't enough to avoid an 11-8 defeat.

Eovaldi recorded eight outs and gave up eight earned runs. He surrendered nine hits and struck out only one. Over the last two nights, Snell and Eovaldi have lasted just 5 2/3 innings, given up 13 hits, four walks and 11 earned runs.

Wendle had two RBI for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Wendle had two RBI for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

“We saw a patient approach last night with Blake," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "Today, it looked like he caught a lot of white with his strikes. He pounded the strike zone, but they didn’t get off the fastball. Just power, power power and maybe not enough separation. Give him some credit. He kept attacking but it wasn’t happening. The Twins had a really good approach and they didn’t miss anything."

Said Eovaldi. "It was definitely  frustrating. Tonight, I couldn’t locate. The cutter was missing down the middle. I didn’t make the big pitches when I needed too."

The Rays' offense was effective despite the loss. At one point, Jake Bauers hit a double off the Twins' facade in right field.  Mallex Smith, clowning around, had Bauers do pushups and curls between innings. The next time up, Bauers hit a three-run honer.

"I saw the umpire signal home run," Bauers said. "It  looked like it hit the very corner. I got some curls in and some pushups in. I might have to do a Body by Mallex workout before every game."

The Rays, now only two games over .500, face the Twins again today at 2:10 p.m. Chris Archer pitches for the Rays against Jose Berrios of the Twins.

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