Rays show different personalities in split

by Gary Shelton on July 14, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Morton has 11 victories on the season./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

Okay, you figure them out.

Can they hit? Can their relievers pitch? Can they score?

Well sometimes.

The Tampa Bay Rays had a head-scratching day Saturday, splitting a doubleheader with the woeful Baltimore Orioles. They were pretty good (in game two), and they were pretty bad (in game one), and they left their fans muttering to themselves.

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Nate Lowe had two homers for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

Figure this out:

In the first game of the series, Friday night, they scored 16 runs on 20 hits.

In the second game, Saturday afternoon, they scored one run on three hits.

In the third game, Saturday night, they scored 12 runs on 15 hits, including six home runs.

Huh?

Consider this: In three games against Baltimore, the Rays have scored 29 runs...and lost one of them. They had 38 hits...and were held to three in their loss. Now, consider this: In the game they lost, the Orioles bullpen -- which has been a disaster this year -- shut them down. They got all three of their hits in the third inning, and spent the rest of the day piling up zeroes.

Saturday's second game made up for much of it. Going against all-star John Means, the Rays blew the O's out getting a half-dozen home runs, including two each from Nate Lowe and Mike Brosseau. Yandy Diaz and Tommy Pham also homered.

"We did it against a good pitcher, an all-star in Means," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "We were kind of quiet early on, but we got a couple of big home runs that separated us. It was encouraging to see. I know we had a hiccup in game one, but to see two out of three games where we’ve really swung the bats well."

In their winning game, the Rays had three hits from Avi Garcia and Brosseau. They had two each from Pham, Travis d'Arnaud, Diaz and Lowe.

Charlie Morton wasn't pleased with his pitching performance, but he gave up only two earned runs in six innings and collected his 11th victory of the season.

"I thought it was a little sloppy," Morton said. "Some parts there, I didn’t do a good job pitching. I don’t know how to look at that outing. I'm glad  It was a mixed bag."

Actually, the line for Brendan McKay, who had a no decision, was better. He allowed only three hits and no runs in his five innings. But Steve Wilkerson had a two-run homer off Colin Poche in the seventh to provide the winning runs.

“It’s frustrating," Cash said after the first game. "It’s a funny game sometimes. That’s going to happen. We didn't get many opportunities. With three hits, you’re not going to win many games.  Any time you limit a team to two runs, you think you’ve got a good chance to win."

The Rays try again today against Baltimore. Ryan Stanek will open for the Rays against a Baltimore pitcher to be determined. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:05 p.m.

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