Rays’ fall seven back with another loss to Twins

by Gary Shelton on June 27, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Morton has now lost two games in a row./CHUCK MULLER

Thursday, 4 a.m.

Their comeback didn’t take. Their best pitcher didn’t win. Their defense didn’t hold up.

And so the Rays of Tampa Bay (for now) faded a little farther back in the AL East division competition on Wednesday night, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Minnesota Twins. The Rays are now 31-31 in their last 63 games, and they’ve fallen to seven games back in the division standings. They lead the third-place Red Sox by only two games.

The Rays fell behind 3-0 in the first inning, but rallied for a 4-3 lead on home runs by Kevin Kiermaier (a two-run shot), Tommy Pham and Willy Adames. However, the Twins scored three times in the sixth on a bases-loaded triple by Nelson Cruz for the victory.

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Cash has seen his team go into a tailspin./

The Rays managed just six hits for the entire game. But it was their defense in the seventh that failed them. Brandon Lowe failed to come up with a hard grounder that was ruled a single, and Ji-Man Choi and Charlie Morton flubbed a grounder that could have been a double play but ended up with no one out.

“The first inning didn’t go as  anyone planned, for sure,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “A leadoff walk and a good team capitalizes. It kind of followed suit in the seventh. Two plays we’re capable of making don’t get made, and you see a good team capitalizing.

“It was uncharacteristic a little bit of us. The play at first,  you’re thinking a double play off the bat. Then you think at least one. We didn’t get any.”

The Rays are now 10-15 since the beginning of June.

Tampa Bay concludes its road trip today with a 1:05 p.m. game against the Twins. Ryne Stanek pitches for the Rays against Minnesota’s Martin Perez.

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