Rays slump continues as they fall back to .500

by Gary Shelton on August 6, 2018 · 0 comments

in general

Keiermaier's double gave the Rays a chance./STEVEN MUNCIE

Keiermaier's double gave the Rays a chance./STEVEN MUNCIE

Monday, 4 a.m.

How do you build a losing streak?

It's easy. When you finally hit, you do not pitch.

You walk five batters. You give up three home runs. You lose two leads. Your ten-game winner gives up five earned runs. You strand 10 runners. You come back to tie the game, but give up two in the ninth on a home run to Daniel Palka, a guy who had struck out four times in the game. You fall one run short for the 26th time of the season.

Just that.

The Tampa Bay Rays were beaten for the third straight game by the Chicago White Sox Sunday, 8-7. It was the seventh time this season the Rays have been swept, the three losses coming on runs in the 10th, ninth and ninth innings.

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Mallex Smith slides back to 2nd./STEVEN MUNCIE

Mallex Smith slides back to 2nd./STEVEN MUNCIE

The Rays are now at .500 (56-56) again. They are 8-12 in their last 20, including a 3-11 mark against teams under .500.

“I would’ve liked for us to have pitched a little bit better," Cash said. "It started with Hunter Wood. He was a little out of whack and then Ryan Yarbs probably took it to another level and couldn’t find the rhythm he needed. He couldn’t find the strike zone, some leadoff walks in there, they capitalized, but would

Michael Perez caught for Tampa Bay./STEVEN MUNCIE

Michael Perez caught for Tampa Bay./STEVEN MUNCIE

like to have some better pitching back. We pitched really well the first two games and didn’t do much offensively. Today we scored enough runs to win the ballgame and didn’t pitch at our best.”

The Rays gave up two home runs to Avisail Garcia in the game. Of their five walks, three were to the leadoff batter of the inning.

It hurt worse that the White Sox are 41-70.

“Losses are losses," Cash said. "Wins are wins. You just want to play better baseball and they did things to take advantage of opportunities and found ways to win all three games. They got big hits. They had pretty good starting pitching.

"You gotta give James Shields credit that he is probably not the guy he once was, but still knows how to pitch. He’s going to

Gomez runs down the first-base line./STEVEM MUNCIE

Willy Adames tries to beat out a hit./STEVEN MUNCIE


make you expand down below the zone and we knew that coming in, but his stuff is still good enough where you have to respect it and we got a lot of chase below the zone.”

Yarbrough has been a successful rookie for the Rays, but he struggled Sunday.

“The first thing that probably sticks out to me are the leadoff walks, and anytime you have those they can lead to some problems," Yarbrough said. "Just fighting through some things and kind of realized half way through the outing that the windup wasn’t really working. The home runs have kind of killed me the last two outings so I have to be a little more selective on pitches and all about execution.”

Brandon Lowe made his Rays' debut and went 0-for-4.

Ryan Yarbrough struggled with his control./STEVEN MUNCIE

Ryan Yarbrough struggled with his control./STEVEN MUNCIE

“It definitely could’ve been better, but there’s always stuff to take away from every game and I can learn from what happened today," said Lowe, the 20th rookie used by the Rays this season.

Lowe said the day was memorable.

“It’s indescribable," Lowe said. "It’s been a dream since I was a little kid and to have much of my family here to witness it is just amazing.”

The Rays dropped centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier, who is hitting .189, from the leadoff spot. Still, his run-scoring double in the ninth gave the Rays a chance before Jesus Sucre hit into a game-ending double play.

“We’re trying to win games," Kiermaier said. "I’m not getting the job done and there’s other guys that deserve to be hitting at the top of the lineup. These things don’t hurt my feelings, they don’t hurt my pride, it’s all about

Diego Castillo took the loss for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Diego Castillo took the loss for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

winning games up here and I said I’m not getting the job done up there and frankly enough I don’t deserve to be at the leadoff spot and I think part of the reason why I stayed up there is I felt pretty good here recently and I had some good results, but at the end of the day we need a lot more consistency up there and that’s what I have not been providing.”

Mallex Smith had four hits and Joey Wendle had three for the Rays.

The Rays have today off before facing Baltimore Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. Tyler Glasnow will pitch for Tampa Bay against former Ray Alex Cobb.

Joey Wendle can't come up with the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE

Joey Wendle can't come up with the ball./STEVEN MUNCIE


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