Rays lose second game as bullpen wobbles

by Gary Shelton on July 30, 2020

in general

Kittredge had a rough outing./JEFFREY S. KING

Wednesday, 4 a.m.

Are we certain -- absolutely certain -- that the Tampa Bay Rays team that left Tropicana Field Wednesday is the one that arrived in Atlanta?

There were so many odd sights, from Kevin Kiermaier misplaying a fly ball to Willy Adames making a wide throw, that a 7-4 bonking from the Atlanta Braves wasn't surprising.

But the sun-rising-in-the-west moment, the absolute most unbelievable sight of them all, was the collapse of the team's bullpen.

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Through five games, four of them wins, it was a normal sight to watch the Rays' relievers throw up zeroes. It was the most dependable part of the Rays' game ... until Wednesday.

The Rays had taken a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning when they turned the game over to their bullpen. Things went astray from there. Andrew Kittredge, who entered the game with a 0.00 ERA, lasted just one-third of an inning and gave up two runs (he left with a 7.71 ERA). Oliver Drake, who had also entered with a 0.00 ERA and two saves, gave up another run in two-thirds of an inning. Jose Alvarez gave up a run in two-thirds of an inning.

"We just couldn’t put guys away," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash.

And soon, the Rays were behind by three runs.

That wasn't the only unacceptable sight as the Rays committed two errors for the third straight game.

The Braves' Freddie Freeman, who struck out four times on Tuesday night, was four-for-five with three RBI.

The Rays play Atlanta for the last time in the regular season tonight at 7:10 p.m. at Truist Park. The Rays will start Ryan Yarbrough against Max Fried.

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