After trading two regulars, numb Rays lose to Orioles

by Gary Shelton on May 26, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Robertson makes a catch in front of Refsnyder./JEFFREY S. KING

Robertson makes a catch in front of Refsnyder./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

What the Tampa Bay Rays needed, really needed, on Friday night was a good RBI man.

He didn't have to have the best average, mind you. He just needed a knack for finding a hole when a runner was in scoring position. Seeing how the Rays were zero-for-10 in scoring position, it would have been a nice weapon to have. You know, someone like Denard Span.

Alas, Span was gone.

But if Span -- who is tied for the lead in RBI on the team -- had knocked in a couple of runs, what the Rays would have needed would have been to make a slight lead hold up. Someone to slam the door. You know, someone like Alex Colome.

Alas, Colome has departed, too.

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Yarbrough threw seven strong innings./JEFFREY S. KING

Yarbrough threw seven strong innings./JEFFREY S. KING

Moments before the Rays took the field for their 2-0 loss to a simply miserable Baltimore team -- one that leads the major league in losses -- the Rays dealt both Span and Colome to Seattle for a pair of minor leaguers. And the ripple seemed to go through the clubhouse and affect a punchless Rays' team.

Tampa Bay had Rob Refsnyder thrown out at third, Brad Miller picked off of second and Mallex Smith thrown out on a delayed steal to add to their woes.

The Rays, once again, tried their controversial "opener," but it didn't work quite as well as Sergio Romo failed to get out of the first. Ryan Yarbrough came in and threw seven innings, allowing only one run, but on a night the Rays didn't score any, that was enough.

Romo dimd't finish the first inning./JEFFREY S. KING

Romo dimd't finish the first inning./JEFFREY S. KING

How much did the trades affect the team's play?

“I don’t know if I have the right answer to that, but I think in all fairness, it does have an impact," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "You hope guys can bounce back, but you’re talking about guys that you spend a lot of time with. Denard for half a year -- spring training then half a year -- and Alex Colome, which is difficult because he’s been a part of the Rays organization for so long. He’s had a lot of success here and made a lot of friends. So, it definitely has an impact. To what extent? I’m not really sure. Hopefully we can move past that quickly and try to win a game tomorrow.”

The Rays say they made the move to add Andrew Moore -- currently in AA -- to

Duffy had two hits for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

Duffy had two hits for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

their staff. Moore is 3-1 in the minors this year, but he was just 1-5 in nine starts a year ago. Shedding salary (Span's 11 million and Colome's $5.3 million) played a part, too.

"I think usually when you see moves made this time of year, it's not very common," said Erik Neander, the senior vice president of baseball operations. "This is usually the time where you're still learning about your club and where you're at competitively, and so on. A lot of the focus for the front office is on the Draft at this point.

"But I think some circumstances changed in Seattle, with respect to where their team is at and where their finances were at."

Cash saw some sloppy base running./JEFFREY S. KING

Cash saw some sloppy base running./JEFFREY S. KING

One of the bright spots in the game was Yarbrough, who struck out eight over his seven innings of work.

“A lot of strikes," Cash said. "I think I looked up, at one point, he had (72) pitches, 52 strikes and 20 balls. When you’re throwing strikes at a 70-percent clip, you’re rolling pretty good. Just watching the hitter’s swings, I know the Schoop home run, but other than that there was not many balls that found the barrel. He mixed his pitches really well -- he had his cutter going and then the fastball.”

Yarbrough was disappointed in throwing the home run ball to Jonathan Schoop.

“I just threw a fastball right down the middle," Yarbrough said. "It was a miss on the first pitch. I was really just trying to get ahead and left something too much over the plate, and he made a good swing on it. I was really just trying to be aggressive, and he got the better of me.”

The Rays have another bullpen day scheduled for today when Ryne Stanek pitches against Andrew Cashner. Game time is 4:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

#0 MAllex Smith caught on the delayed steal (1 of 1)

Smith was out at second on a delayed steal attempt./JEFFREY S. KING

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