Rays bats go quiet in loss to Toronto

by Gary Shelton on August 6, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Adames dived to stop a ground ball./JEFFREY S. KING

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

This is why they drive you crazy. This is why you can’t quite figure them out.

For a week, the Tampa Bay Rays were sluggers, real back-them-up-against-the-

Adames recovers to get the runner at first base./JEFFREY S. KING

wall-dynamos. They were scoring as if they were playing pinball, and they were hitting as if they would never stop.

And then came Monday night.

And zilch.

The bats in the hands of the Rays crumbled to dust against the Jays as the Rays lost a 2-0 decision. In their six-game winning streak, they had scored 48 runs. Monday night, they got zero. In their last seven games, they had 86 hits. Monday night, they managed just five, all singles. They had one hit in their last three at bats.

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Morton pitched well, but took the loss./JEFFREY S. KING

It was the fifth time the Rays have been shut out this season.

“We had a little hiccup tonight,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “Quiet night. They made (three) errors and we weren’t able to capitalize in those situations. It was one of those nights.”

If an American League game, a team should stand a good chance of winning if it holds the opponent to just two runs. And with Charlie Morton on the mound, the

Meadows couldn’t save a home run ball./JEFFREY S. KING

Rays gave up only single runs in the first and third. Morton allowed seven hits, but he struck out nine.

“That’s just baseball,” Charlie Morton said. “Sometimes you score 12 and sometimes you don’t score any. That’s the way it goes. You look at the body of work at the end of the year, whether it’s offensive, defensive, pitching and you hope that your team has done well individually as a team and I feel like we have. It’s just one of those days.”

In recent days, Morton has faced Bo Bichette, Vlad Guerrero Jr. and Cavan Biggio, all the sons of former major leaguers.

“The thing is that they step in the box and they are there for a reason,” Morton said. “They aren’t there because of who their dads are. Maybe on paper. You see the

Brosseau was picked off second in the seventh./JEFFREY S. KING

lineup and you are like ‘holy cow, look at those guys. Their dads were really good at baseball.’ But then they step in the box and you are like, ‘you aren’t pitching against somebody who is here because their dad was good. You are pitching to someone who is here on their own merit.’ Baseball does a really good job — filtering in, the process is very difficult to get to the big leagues, it’s very hard. They get in the box and you are like ‘you better make some pitches because they can hit.’ Plus their dads are probably pretty good hitting coaches.”

The Rays did get a defensive gem from Willy Adames, who made a diving stop and threw to a stretching Ji-Man Choi, who stretched and dug out the ball.

Aguilar had a single for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

“Great effort by Ji-Man,” Adames said. “I appreciate that. You make the play at shortstop and you expect first base to do that and I appreciate that by Choi. It was a great play by him and I’m glad that we made the out.

“It was a tough game for us today, offensive-wise. We had the opportunity a couple of times and we didn’t take advantage when we could have. That’s going to happen. Tomorrow we need to come back with a better mentality and attack a little more earlier in the game and try to get a couple of runs and get on top of them.”

The Rays seemed to have something going in the seventh inning when Mike Brosseau was picked off of second base.

“Looking back on it, I was probably a little too aggressive. With the point of view at second base, if there was a bad throw and it kicked away two or three feet and you get the runners at second and third. But at the same time, I know that my run isn’t the tying run so I have to be a little more cautious on the base path. He made a good throw, a good pick, good backpick. The mentality behind it was looking for it to scoot away a little bit, get runners on a second and third and have the guy up to bat drive two runs in.”

The Rays try to even the series tonight when Andrew Kittredge will pitch against Toronto’s Trent  Thornton. The game begins at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

Kiermaier makes a catch in center field./EFFREY S. KING

 

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