Once again, Rays cannot a hold a lead

by Gary Shelton on May 8, 2017 · 1 comment

in general


Alex Cobb throws the first pitch of the game./Steven Muncie

Monday, 2 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays keep getting leads.

Unfortunately, the Rays also keep blowing them.

Once again, the Rays took a lead but failed to hold onto it Sunday, dropping a 2-1 game to the last-place Toronto Blue Jays in which they managed only three hits. The Rays are now 16-17 on the season.

In the Rays' last 21 games, they've taken a lead in 20 of them. They're 10-11 in those games. It was also the sixth straight loss for the Rays when they've had an opportunity to move above .500.

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Kiermaier scored the Rays only run on a nit by Dickerson./CARMEN MANDATO

Kiermaier scored the Rays only run on a nit by Dickerson./CARMEN MANDATO

Alex Cobb went eight innings and allowed only four hits and two runs. However, he gave up a home run to Darwin Barney in the eighth that broke a 1-1 tie. The Rays had taken a 1-0 lead when Corey Dickerson singled in Kevin Kiermaier in the third inning.

“Alex Cobb was just phenomenal commanding the baseball,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “The fastball was outstanding, the curveball was outstanding. He threw some good changeups. Just an awesome performance on his part. Unfortunately we just couldn’t get any run support. Their guys did well piecing together and Biagini came out and set the tone. Loup came in and got some big outs and Tepera comes in, you guys all watched it. There were a bunch of quality pitches thrown for both teams today. They had a bunch of guys and we had one guy, but that is sometimes the way it goes. The offense was a little quiet.”

Cash even liked the pitch that doomed Cobb.

“I thought it was a pretty well-located pitch,” Cash said. “I think he threw the ball close to where he wanted it to go. He had just seen enough of him to be ready for it to get out in front and cheat on one. I’m not sure. We probably wouldn’t be talking too much about that pitch, simply if were able to get some runs across the board.”

Cobb thought his decision to throw the pitch to Barney – who hit his first homer in 77 at bats, was a good one.

“It was probably the same thing that hurt me in the end,” Cobb said. “Fastballs in on righties and trying to get weak contact, get the ball on the ground. It got me a couple double plays, you know, but eventually they caught onto it. The two RBIs, one by Russell and the home run were both fastballs in as well. It’s kind of a live by the sword, die by the sword type of day.

“I probably would (throw it again), I’d probably execute it a little bit better. It was supposed to be in and off the plate, and it came back over the plate. Any pitch in that situation is not a bad decision, it’s just the execution of it. I wouldn’t throw it again because it was hit out of the park, but I wouldn’t change my decision of why I went to it.”

The Rays now play Kansas City at home, with Blake Snell facing former Ray Nathan Karns.

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