Alvarado can’t close out the Indians in defeat

by Gary Shelton on May 25, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Alvarado let another game slip away./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 4 a.m.

Once again, the closer couldn’t get the door shut.

He could not switch off the light. He could not drive home the final nail. He could not put an exclamation point at the end.

Once again, Jose Alvarado’s meltdown led directly to a defeat by the Rays. Tampa Bay lost to Cleveland, 3-1, when Alvarado gave up two runs on three walks and two hits. It was the second collapse in three games by Alvarado.

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“It’s not always going to go our way,” Alvarado said through an interpreter. “I thought it was a good pitch on ball four (a bases-loaded walk to Jake Bauer to drive in the last run). It’s just part of the game. Sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn’t.”

Garcia knocked in the Rays’ only run./CHUCK MULLER

Alvarado had started the season by converting five straight save opportunities, but he has been shaky lately.

“I thought  today he was initially trying to make the perfect pitch when he didn’t have to,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “With Jose’s stuff, you aim for the white and let your  tuff play a little bit.”

“I love Jose,” said starter Blake Snell, who gave up only four hits and one earned run. “I know what he brings to the team. It’s going to happen. It happens to everyone. He’s going to get it figured out. I’m not worried about it. He’s going to work through it and get back to being dominant Jose.”

The Rays offense struggled for most of the night, striking out 10 times in five innings against Shane Bieber. The Rays were one-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

The winning run scored when Roberto Perez hit a bases-loaded nubber that third baseman Daniel Robertson could not convert.

“I think he did everything he could,” Cash said. “It would have been one heck of play if he even had one.”

The Rays send Charlie Morton to the mound today to face Carlos Carrasco. The game begins at 4:10 p.m.

 

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