Soaring Astros Clobber Falling Rays

by Gary Shelton on August 28, 2019 · 0 comments

in general

Morton struggled against his old teammates./JOE METSAS

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

It was about as bad as you could expect.

The hard-charging Astros took on the free-falling Tampa Bay Rays Tuesday night, and all that was missing was a mercy rule. The Astros showed why they are a contender, and the Rays showed why they aren’t, really, and it was ugly early.

The Astros handed the Rays their worst loss of the season, 15-1, in a game that looked like big-leaguers against minor leaguers. Houston had 18 hits in the clobbering, plus three walks, two hit batters and benefitted from two Rays’ errors. It was the most runs the Rays have given up all season.

Gee. Just how bad might it have been if the Rays didn’t start their top pitcher in Charlie Morton?

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Pham had two hits for the Rays./STEVEN MUNCIE

Alas, it wasn’t one of Morton’s better efforts. He gave up six earned runs in four innings. Relievers Andrew Kittredge and Chaz Roe each gave up three earned runs.

“The velocity was there,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “It looked like he couldn’t change eye levels like we’ve seen him do in the past. You’ve got to give credit to Houston’s lineup.

“Their approach was solid. You can go through a game and see how many times a pitcher gives them a hittable pitch and it doesn’t get hit. It seemed like every time Charlie threw a ball they could handle, they certain did and made us pay for it.”

In his last seven starts, Morton is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA.

“Six runs,” Morton said. “Yeah. it’s not good in four innings. I would say I don’t know if I did a great job mixing. Pitch types but locations too. Everything they saw today was middle down. They did a really good job. I think I got two swings and misses today. I think it speaks for itself. ”

The Rays have now surrendered 30 runs in their last three games.

Tampa Bay managed seven hits.

“(Justin) Verlander has a lot to do with that,” Cash said. “He’s really good. The one rally we got going, it seems like he kicks it into another gear and gets Avi on a strikeout and Joey on a groundout. He was tough. We knew coming in we had our hands full today. We’ll just have to make some adjustments. The good thing is you can lose a game like that and win a close game tomorrow.”

The Rays now trail both Cleveland and Oakland in the wild-card race.

Tampa Bay plays Houston again tonight at 8:10 p.m. Ryan Yarbrough pitches for the Rays against Gerrit Cole.

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