Rays can’t overcome stranded baserunners

by Gary Shelton on April 4, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Adames is off to a roigh start offensively./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 4 a.m.

As they head out on the road for the first time this season, one could hardly  blame the Tampa Bay Rays for  continuing to think about home.

Home, as in the plate. As in the unsoiled, untouched plate of Wednesday afternoon. You know, the plate that eluded them completely in a 1-0, 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies.

The Rays left chances to win their latest game on the basepaths. They had six hits and seven walks. They left 10 runners in scoring position. Between the sixth and 10th innings, they stranded 11 runners, including a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the seventh.

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Roe gave up the winning home run in the 11th./JEFFREY S. KING

“There were some chances; we just didn’t capitalize," Cash said. "We’ve been pretty fortunate this series. A lot of things have gone our way. Maybe not today, but ultimately you’ve got to give (German) Marquez a lot of credit. Their pitching staff was just tremendous. Kept us off balance. They were really good today.

"Our pitching matched them toe-to-toe, we just came up short at the end. It’s easy to go back and look at the opportunities and missed chances but I think if you look at the big picture of how we started this homestand. We should be feeling pretty good.”

They might have felt better if they could have pushed across a run in the seventh. But with the bases loaded, Mike Zunino -- hitting .056 -- struck out and Willie Adames was out on a bunt attempt. Originally, he was called safe, but replays showed he was barely out on a throw by Nolan Arenado.

 “We just wanted to get it down and create some pressure on the defense," Cash said. "Ideally we’re trying to bunt between the pitcher and first base. No one was there. Willie just had a rough time with it but he’ll bounce back and do some good things for us this road trip.”

Adames was 0-5 with three strikeouts. He's hitting .043 on the season.

“I don’t know if I can tell him anything," Cash said. "I know he’ll continue to work — that’s the one thing about Willy. We saw him struggle last year when he came up and then you looked up at the end of the season and he’d put up a really strong half or third of a season, whatever it was. He’ll be ok. We go into the season knowing we’ve got a bunch of young players. Not everyone is going to get off to the best start. Unfortunately, his start hasn’t gone that well so far but the one thing we’ll continue to say about Willy is the defense that he’s played. He’s making the plays behind us. That’s priority 1A. The bat’s going to come along for him.”

Said Adames: “You have to follow your orders. When your leader tells you to do something, you have to follow orders. I couldn’t execute today what he told me to execute. We had a couple chances a couple times that we could have executed, that’s part of the game, hopefully we can bounce back.

“Offense is tough. There’s going to be ups and downs and I’m going to keep working hard and hope that the bats come in this San Francisco series.”

Despite all the wasted chances, the Rays had a chance to win until Chaz Roe gave up a home run to Chris Iannetta with one out in the 11th. Roe had an 0-2 count on Iannetta.

“Chaz has been so good for seems like two years now almost, little more than that, whatever it’s been," Cash said. He hung a breaking ball. He was on a good run. Normally we don’t ask him to come in and get outs then go back out, but that was where our pitching was. He’ll bounce right back and get some right-handers that he makes those pitches on.”

The Rays got a nice start from newcomer Charlie Morton, his second straight. This time, Morton allowed four hits over six scoreless innings and struck out six.

In seven games, the Rays have given up 11 runs. Eight of those have come off of six home runs.

“We can pitch, there’s no denying that," Cash said. "We’ve got some guys that are really coming into their own into their careers and then we’ve got some established guys that complement them. Got to be impressed with the way we pitched and the way we defended this entire homestand.”

The Rays now travel to San Francisco to face the Giants. They will play the first game of the series Friday at 4:35 p.m. Tyler Glasnow is scheduled to face the Giants' Dereck Rodríguez.


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