Ex-Rays lead Minnesota to another victory over Rays

by Gary Shelton on June 3, 2019 · 4 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Meadows had two hits and two RBI in the loss./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

The Minnesota Twins might be the best team in baseball. Certainly, the Tampa Bay Rays hope so, because they are definitely lagging behind.

For the third straight day, the Twins humbled the Rays, this time in a 9-7 victory that was highlighted by former Rays. Over the last three games of the four-game series, the Twins scored 21 times to win three straight. Minnesota is now 40-18. under first-year manager Rocco Baldelli.

It was the first time this season the Rays lost while scoring seven runs or more.

Arroyo hit his second homer in two days./JEFFREY S. KING

Ryan Yarbrough gave up seven runs as the Rays fell behind 7-0 before making things interesting.

“He fell behind a couple guys,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “We know they can hit. They hit some pretty good pitches. Had a couple hit-by-pitches that were uncharacteristic, kind of wrong timing. We didn’t make a play behind him and it seemed like the inning just kind of unfolded and got out of hand there quickly. Got

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Yarbrough had a tough outing for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

to find a way to step up to the mound and make a big pitch. Keep us in the ballgame. It was just a tough day for him.”

Cash gave credit to the Minnesota offense.

“There’s not a break in there, I can tell you that,” Cash said. “They’ve just got a good balance in there one through nine. It seems like a lot of them are seeing the ball pretty well right now when they came in here. They can challenge any pitching staff – good pitching, bad pitching, whatever. They certainly are seeing the ball pretty well.”

Yarbrough admitted he struggled.

“It was kind of a grind today,” he said. “They are a really good hitting team. I don’t know if necessarily pitch count was anything crazy because I was still able to go seven strong (innings) – really tried to help the bullpen at that point. They are a


Choi had a double for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

good hitting team and they were just getting enough of pitches on certain ones where I just wasn’t getting it in enough on cutters or leaving some changeups over the plate. They are a big league ball club and they are going to make you pay for it.

“I don’t think anybody is happy about how the last couple days went, but at the same time, we realize the team we have here and I don’t think anybody’s confidence has wavered at all or what we are going to do or potentially do down the stretch. It’s just a matter of really taking into account what we did well, what we didn’t and what we can work on and after the off day, getting back at it.”

The Twins were led by ex-Ray Jake Odorizzi, who gave up only three hits in six innings and struck out nine. He is now 8-2 on the season.

“Jake was great again and he made good pitches,” said Twins manager Baldelli. “Truthfully, the opposition dialed him and had good at bats and he just continued to

Byron Buxton makes a catch to start a double play./JEFFREY S. KING

do his job and execute and do everything that he set out there to do. Against good teams it’s never easy, but he went out there and truly did his job. Not only that, but he got pretty deep in the game and covered an extra inning or two for us on top of everything else. It was just another phenomenal effort.”

After a bases loaded double by ex-Ray C.J. Cron, the Twins led 7-0. The Rays closed it to 7-5. After falling behind 9-5, they scored two more to keep it close.

The Rays are off today, then travel to Detroit to play the Tigers. Blake Snell pitches for the Rays against Ryan Carpenter. The first pitch is at 7:10 p.m.

Adames makes a throw for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Beller June 4, 2019 at 6:39 am

To their credit the Rays are beating up on the weak sister teams in the AL and fortunately for them their are a lot of those kind of teams around. They play one tonight.

But when it comes to going up against the top tier teams, their pitching especially, isn’t nearly as effective. The back of the bullpen is the biggest concern are you wrote in today’s column but that’s not the only spot there have been problems with this pitching staff. Things have not gone well for this team of late except for when they go up against the bottom dwellers.

The Rays over reliance on the bullpen is not a plan that is sustainable with this group. Their lack of starting pitching, the quick hook for starters and the low scoring offense is the root of the problem. The bullpen is being called upon to carry too much of the load causing their weaknesses to be magnified.


Gary Shelton June 4, 2019 at 8:30 pm

Teams that try to win a lot of close games have to depend on their bullpen, though. Right?

I agree with you that there is a difference when the Rays play the top of the line teams against those that are struggling. I think that’s true across the league. The Yankees and Twins just wear everyone out. That make starting pitching look wobbly and the hitting disappear. I’d do a breakdown of it, but it would be awfully difficult. But my eyes tell me that the starting three pitchers fare fairly well, the middle relievers turn average and the late-inning relievers are awful. The hitting doesn’t seem to be nearly as effective, and the baserunning is a headache.


Larry Beller June 3, 2019 at 8:42 am

Interesting how the the team of pitching and defense doesn’t have enough of either when it comes to playing against the best teams. Once you get past Snell and Morton the pitching staff doesn’t measure up against the top teams.

How did the small market Twins get so good so fast?


Gary Shelton June 3, 2019 at 9:18 pm

Drafted well. Developed well. They look like the real thing to me.

I agree the best teams make average ones look bad. I don’t know that the Rays are much better than average right now. Thoughts?


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