Bullpen implodes as Rays let Reds get healthy

by Gary Shelton on June 20, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Beckham can't avoid being hit in the wrist by a fastball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Beckham can't avoid being hit in the wrist by a fastball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Wednesday, 1 a.m.

For a minute, just for a minute, the Tampa Bay Rays looked like the Comeback Kids once again.

As quick as light switch bringing on the darkness, the Rays had battled back from a 3-0 deficit. They had tied the game, and they looked as if they were about to hand the Cincinnati Reds their 10th straight defeat.

Then, once again, their bullpen made a sick team healthy.

As quick as the Rays tied the game, the Reds took the lead back against the Rays' wobbly bullpen, scoring four times in the eighth and ninth to coast to a 7-3 victory. Late in the

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night, and the Reds might as well have had Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Pete Rose in their lineup all over again instead of team that had lost nine straight and given up 61 runs during that stretch.

Logan Morrison reaches back to get the out./STEVEN MUNCIE

Logan Morrison reaches back to get the out./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jose Alvarado came in and gave up three earned runs without getting anyone out. He took the loss. Danny Farquhar pitched two innings and gave up another earned run.

"Joey Votto is as good as anybody in baseball," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "It's probably nitpicking, but (Alvarado) fell behind those guys. Saying that tip your cap to Scooter (Gennett). He hit a double down the line, and then Joey doesn't waste any time and hits a base hit up the middle to regain the lead."

Starter Jake Odorizzi pitched well enough, going seven innings and allowing just three runs. But his old

Jose Alvarado gave up three runs and took the loss./STEVEN MUNCIE

Jose Alvarado gave up three runs and took the loss./STEVEN MUNCIE

bugaboo, the home run ball, raised its head again. Odorizzi gave up all three of his runs on homers by Scott Schebler and Gennett. Odorizzi has now allowed homers in 10 straight games, which left him one shy of Wilson Alvarez's team record. Twenty seven of his 37 runs given up have been via the home run.

"Just the two at bats," Odorizzi said when asked if anything changed. "The second one, I shouldn't walk Billy Hamilton. The guy is the fastest guy in the league, so I have to make him put it in play. So that's on me. I got behind in a hitter's count and threw a pitch where I wanted in my typical fastball to a lefty up-and-away and he just barreled it up and shot it that way. When the hitters are in control of counts, they can try to do more damage. I have to be a bigger better, a little finer on my pitches and not get behind."

The Rays' bats were quieted by Scott Feldman. Tampa Bay usually hits well against right handed hitters, but the Rays didn't hit much until Souza and Robertson homered. For Robertson, he has eight RBI over his

Robertson celebrates tying the game 3-3 with a homer./STEVEN MUNCIE

Robertson celebrates tying the game 3-3 with a homer./STEVEN MUNCIE

last five games, compared to eight over his first 48 games.

Tim Beckham left the game with a left hand contusion. X-rays were negative, and he is listed day-to-day.

"I definitely thought it was worse when it first happened," Beckham said. "I never like coming out of a game, but I could hardly squeeze my glove so I knew I wouldn't be able to swing a bat.

"It's kind of a nervous situation. You don't want to be off the field at all, so hopefully in a couple of days we'll see how it feels."

Today, the series continues as the Rays' Alex Cobb piches against Amir Garrett.

Steven Souza Jr. watches to make sure his hit was enough for a home run./STEVEN MUNCIE

Steven Souza Jr. watches to make sure his hit was enough for a home run./STEVEN MUNCIE

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