Rays let series finale to Angels slip away

by Gary Shelton on July 17, 2017 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Now that the games count extra for the Tampa Bay Rays, losses like Sunday's are sure to linger a little longer.

The Rays lost to the Angels, 4-3, in a game that felt as if it had slipped away. The Rays could have come within 1 ½ games of the division leading Red Sox with a victory.

“We lost," said manager Kevin Cash. "That stunk. But I was really happy with the way the guys resp0nded in the ninth. We just came up a little short. Tip your hat to them turning the double play.:

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Instead, the Rays lost when:

  • Pitcher Adam Kolarek threw a home run on his first pitch to pinch-hitter C.J. Cron in the eighth inning. Kolarek had come on to pitch to Luis Valbeuna, but Cron was sent up to bat anyway. Rays' manager Kevin Cash chose to let Kolarek pitch, even though right handers were hitting .400 against him."That's unfortunately the way it goes," Cash said. "It didn't look like the pitch  was that bad. Maybe a tick higher than what he wanted. We'll take the matchup."
  • Catcher Jesus Sucre did not get a tag down in time on Andrelton Simmons in the sixth inning although he had the ball in plenty of time."We've got to execute that play," Cash said. "He didn't get the tag down as quickly as we would have wanted. We didn't have a challenge left. From the side angle, it looked like he had gotten in there."
  • Second baseman Tim Beckham, with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, hit into a game-ending double play.

The Rays could have swept the Angels otherwise, but did not. Starting pitcher Chris Archer wasn't at his best – he walked five – but still left the game with two earned runs in six innings.

That 2-0 defict disappeared when Logan Morrison hit his 26th home run in the seventh, knocking in Evan Longoria. Longoria had three hits to improve his average to .267. Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. each had two hits.

However, the bullpen was again faulty for the Rays. Jumbo Diaz gave up a run in only one-third inning of work, and was designated for assignment after the game. Diaz took Sunday's loss, which left him at 1-4.

Simmons had three hits for the Angels.

The Rays now travel to Oakland for three games. Jake Odorizzi will face Daniel Gossett (1-4) in the first game of the series.

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