Rays can’t hold lead; lose another one-run game

by Gary Shelton on June 12, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Meadows fouls a ball off of his leg./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday 4 a.m.

They didn't have enough hitting. They didn't have enough pitching. They didn't have enough defense.

In other words, the Tampa Bay Rays didn't have enough of a chance Tuesday night.

The Rays lost to the Oakland A's, 4-3, by not making enough plays. It continued a trend where Tampa Bay has not been as good at home (18-15) as on the road (23-10).The Rays fell to 4-7 in one-run games.

The Rays managed just four hits in their loss. If that wasn't troublesome enough, reliever Emilio Pagan gave up back-to-back home runs in the sixth. And if that wasn't worrisome enough, Willy Adames started the inning off with an error.

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Kiermaier attempts a bunt for Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

“Kind of a quiet night at the plate, obviously," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We scored that last run there, but before that (Mike) Fiers was really tough and the rest of their bullpen — (Liam) Hendriks, (Lou) Trivino – were really tough. They just kept our bats quiet. We didn’t do many things wrong, we were just pitched really, really tough.”

Beeks pitched well for the Rays./JEFFREY S. KING

It was a rare misstep by Pagan, who has been efficient for the Rays.

“I don’t know if anything went wrong," Cash said. "He left maybe two pitches he’d like to have back a little up in the zone, but he’s been so lights-out for us. Look forward to getting him right back out there. It was almost shocking how his season has gone to this point. He’ll be fine. Just gave up two home runs to guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.

"The damage in his mind, probably, was done. It’s got to be a little of a benefit to go back out there and get three outs rather than come out of the game after that. Emilio has been outstanding for us. He’ll be fine regardless of what took place today. He’s been such a big part of our bullpen. Probably as consistent as anybody. We’ll get him right back out there.”

Said Pagan: “With (Matt) Olson, I just got in a bad count. I asked (Jonathan) Beeks

Pham's homer gave the Rays an early lead./JEFFREY S. KING

when I got in here where the pitch was and he said he thought it was a good pitch. But you get into a 2-0 count to a good hitter and he’s going to make you pay. To (Khris) Davis, just overthrew a cutter. Kind of just spun on me. Didn’t really have any depth or action to it. Other than that I felt like I threw the ball great. I felt like I had good fastball command. Just got in a bad count once and threw a bad pitch to Davis. Still felt good. Not too much to worry about, just continue to go about my business and be ready to go again tomorrow.”

Most of the difference in the game, Cash said, was Fiers.

“He  commands the fastball at the top of the zone really well," Cash said. "He throws kind of a wrinkle-cutter-slider in there to get you off the fastball. He’s got the big breaking ball that he occasionally pops in. It’s really all fastball. He’s got a lot of deception, a lot of carry to it. He really knows how to command it right at the belt for those hitters. It’s tough to lay off and tough to get on top of.”

The Rays took a 2-0 lead, but it could have been more. Tampa Bay had its first two

Lowe puts the ball in play./JEFFREY S. KING

runners reach base in the second inning but didn't score.

“First and second, no outs," Cash said. "We didn’t get the big hit. We didn’t get the big hit and nothing went our way at the plate. We’re going to have some days like that. Yesterday we were pretty quiet for five or six innings and it went our way really well. We’ll bounce back, get back here tomorrow.”

Adames had no excuse for his error.

“I didn’t have a good grip on the ball and I threw it into the dirt,” he said.

First baseman Ji-Man Choi thought he made the catch, which was ruled a bobble.

“I had the ball in my hand," Choi said. "I fell after I had the ball in my hand. I thought it was an out. It hit my glove and I held it with my other hand and I fell. I thought it was an out. I didn’t think it was the key part, but it was just bad timing where the runner was on base after that (before the home run).”

The Rays play against Oakland again today at 12:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Yonny Chirinos will pitch for the Rays against the A's Brett Anderson.

Choi makes a play at first./JEFFREY S. KING




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