Rays’ offense scuffles in Opening Day loss

by Gary Shelton on July 25, 2020

in general

Cash saw his offense dormant in opener./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

There were even fewer fans in the stands than normal.

The manager (and everyone else on the bench) wore a mask.

Charlie Morton was mortal.

And so the Tampa Bay Rays entered the oddest season in baseball history Friday night, losing a 6-4 decision to the Toronto Blue Jays. Granted, an Opening Day loss is just one misstep on a long journey, but only 59 games remain.

And one lingering problem.

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Yeah, you've felt this kind of frustration before. The Rays didn't hit very much Friday night, and they have the look of a team that will have to scratch and nibble all season long. They managed just five hits, and they were one-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and they left 11 men on base. They failed to take much advantage of nine Blue Jay walks.

"We left 10 or 11 on base," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "When you do that, you’re putting yourself in a tough spot. You’ve got to be able to capitalize. And we will. "

If that was all an echo from years past, then Morton's performance wasn't. After three scoreless innings, he gave up three runs in both the fourth and the fifth, and the Rays fell behind 6-1.

"At the end of the day, you've got the get the outs," Morton said. "I didn't get the outs."

The Rays play Toronto again this afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough will pitch for the Rays against Toronto's Matt Shoemaker.

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