Rays lost to A’s despite giving up only three hits

by Gary Shelton on September 15, 2018 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Jamie Schultz gave up the winning homer in the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Saturday, 3 a.m.

As surprisingly good as their season has been, one could not blame the fans of the Tampa Bay Rays if they wanted to see it go on a little further.

Any such wishes took a blow to the chin Friday night, as the Rays lost a 2-1, 10-inning game to the Oakland A's despite giving up only three hits. The defeat deepens a hole for the Rays, and it might be too much for them to climb out of.

The loss, which came when Khris Davis hit his 42nd home run of the season with no one out in the 10th, dropped the Rays to nine games behind Oakland with just 16 games to play. Any combination of seven A's wins or Rays' losses would eliminate them from post-season consideration.

Davis' home run was the A's first hit after the fourth inning,

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

The Rays have lost two of their last three games after an 8-1 stretch.

"We understood where we were, where we stood,'' third baseman Matt Duffy said. "I guess still mathematically there's hope. We understood how big each one of these games was. A little discouraging.

"But we still have two more games. And there's a lot to play for, for everybody in this room really other than chasing down these guys, so we're still going to go out there with the same mind-set.''

Rays' manager Kevin Cash defended his team, however.

"We are 80-65 (actually, 80-66) so we are winning a lot of games," said Cash. "Today stunk just in the fact that we had an opportunity and we didn’t capitalize. It’s tough to pull negatives from what this group has done and how they performed tonight.”

Well, for one thing, the Rays weren't very good on the bases. Joey Wendle was picked off of first, and both Mallex Smith and Kevin Kiermaier were thrown out trying to steal. Kiermaier's steal attempt came on a 3-0 pitch.

“Ultimately, that’s on me," Cash said. "Probably getting a little overaggressive. That just happens sometimes. That’s on me. I need to do a better job of communicating with the guys.”

Matt Duffy didn't second-guess the plan, however.

“Yeah, we were pretty aggressive on the bases tonight and it didn’t work out for us," Duffy said. "We’ve really been having a lot of success with that lately so [we don’t] really get upset or think too hard about that. That’s the game we’ve been playing lately, just didn’t work out for us tonight.

"They are a good team. They didn’t give us much. Close, hard fought game. We could have played a little cleaner. Not terribly played by us either.”

The best chance of soring for the Rays came in the sixth, when Mallex Smith had an infield hit and Matt Duffy beat out a bunt. After a wild pitch, Wendle was intentionally walked to load the bases. But Willy Adames struck out looking to end the inning

"I think that was the at-bat of the game and I didn’t get the job done," Adames said. "I didn’t produce there, and we lost 2-1, and I think that’s pretty much it.

“They (the A's) have been playing very good. They have a pretty good team. We know it’s going to be a tough series against them, but have to bounce back tomorrow and get that one.”

This season, the Rays have played the seond-most one-run games (54) in the majors, and they've lost the most (29).

The Rays play the A's again today at 6:10 p.m. at the Trop. Ryne Stanek will open for Tampa Bay against Liam Hendriks.




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