Rays fall yet again as losing streak continues

by Gary Shelton on July 7, 2016 · 0 comments

in general

Nick Frankin dives to try to stop grounder in Rays' latest loss./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Nick Frankin dives to try to stop grounder in Rays' latest loss./TRAVIS PENDERGRASS

Thursday, 5:30 a.m.

Here's a terrible thought: What if this isn't a slump? What if this is a new reality?

And if so, ouch.

The Tampa Bay Rays lost for the 18th time in 21 games Wednesday night, following bad starting pitching (Drew Smyly's 10th loss) and defense (three errors). For the Rays, the all-star game cannot com quickly enough. It was the team's 50th loss of the season.

Smelly lasted only four innings, giving up seven earned runs. Smyly is winless in his last nine starts (0-6).

Evan Longoria, among the five players trying to get the AL's final roster spot, had three hits for Tampa Bay and raised his average to .283.

“I thought that Drew, a little snake bit there in the inning where four runs came across," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "The first three base runners to get on were pretty well-located pitches. They found two bloop hits and a ground ball that found the hole. After that he makes a big pitch to get a potential double play on that we didn’t turn. We have to help our pitchers out right there and make that play, no doubt. After that, he seemed like he maybe lost a little bit of the feel trying to go backdoor cutter on some pitches that he pulled across. Needless to say, it was probably too much early on to overcome

“No. I think that let’s get to the break. There is no doubt that he hasn’t had his strongest outings. We understand that. Some of have been a little on him. Some have been on the way we have performed behind him. When a pitcher is struggling, the most important thing to do as a team is to do everything we can to settle him and make plays for him. I can’t sit here and say that we have done that. At the same time, Drew has to go out and execute pitches and there have been several that haven’t been executed to his standards.”

The Rays play the Angels again today with Blake Snell on the mound.

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