Rays give up grand slam in extra innings

by Gary Shelton on July 16, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Andriese game up a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Andriese game up a grand slam in the bottom of the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays finished an impressive first half of their season Sunday afternoon with an unimpressive effort against the Minnesota Twins.

Basically, the day ended sadly because the Rays, frankly, could not throw the ball straight.

Tampa Bay look a 10-inning, 11-7 loss after a grand slam by Brian Dozier. But it was wayward throwing, more than anything, that cost the Rays.

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Sucre had three hits for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Sucre had three hits for the Rays./CARMEN MANDATO

Nine Rays pitchers walked 10 batters (four of them intentionally) in the defeat. But it was a pair of wild throws by infielders in the seventh inning that led to the team's demise.

With the Rays ahead 4-2, Dozier hit an infield single behind third base. Daniel Robertson fielded the ball and tried to throw Dozier out. First baseman C.J. Cron saw there was no play and cut the ball off, but his return throw to third base was wild. Before the play was over, the Twins had tied the game at 4-4, and Diego Castillo promptly balked in the go-ahead run.

"We continue to find ways to come back, fight and claw, get back in ballgames," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "You hate that we gave the lead up, and the way that we did. Some walks and then a costly play. You got to like the way we continue to have some good at-bats and get big hit after big hit. We just came up short. Their hit was a little bigger there at the end."

Wence forced extra innings when he drove in Robertson./CARLOS MANDATO

Wendle forced extra innings when he drove in Robertson./JEFFREY S. KING

“We’ve done such a good job of getting leads and making plays. We didn’t  do that as well as we’d like today."

The Rays had leads of 4-1 and 6-5 and came back to tie the game when Joey Wendle singled home Robertson in the ninth. But Dozier hit his slam off of Matt Andriese to end the game.

The teams left their bench in the seventh when Eduardo Escobar thought Castillo was trying to hit him. He and Robertson began to jaw at each other.

"When Castillo went down and low on (Escobar's) ankles, he stared at him again," Robertson said. "There was already a lot of chatter going on as far as the balk that happened right before that. Everyone was yelling at each other. He was looking back up at our pitcher again, and I just told him, 'Hey, quit staring at our pitcher. Nobody's trying to hit you; just get back in the box and hit.' That's about it, man. Then he kind of came back at me."

Cash had no problem with the original call.

Castillo said he wasn't trying to hit anyone./JEFFREY S. KING

Castillo said he wasn't trying to hit anyone./JEFFREY S. KING

"It was a balk," Cash said. "The runner flinched, and Diego flinched himself. So they got the call right. There was a misunderstanding that Diego was throwing at someone. He wasn’t it. It escalated until  cooler heads prevailed."

Jesus Sucre was three-for-four with three RBI for the Rays.  Cron, Wendle and Mallex Smith all had two hits. Dozier knocked in five runs for the Twins.

Tampa Bay used nine pitchers, and only opener Ryne Stanek went as many as two innings.

The Rays finish their first half at 49-47. They lost three of their four games to Minnesota.

Tampa Bay returns home to play on Friday night, July 20, against the Marlins.

 

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