Sloppy play dooms Rays vs. Orioles

by Gary Shelton on August 1, 2020

in general

Snell was left out, but he wasn't robbed./CARMEN MANDATO

Saturday, 4 a.m.

The defense continued to play in its funk, and the old ace continued in his slump, which meant that the team continued on its slide.

Pick an adjective. Pick any adjective, but the lackluster play of the Tampa Bay Rays continued Friday night in Baltimore. The Rays lost a 6-3 decision to Baltimore, a team that won just 54 times a year ago and already has seized last place in the AL East.

It was the third straight loss for the Rays, all on the road. Yes, it's early, but those three games are one-tenth of the team's road schedule.

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Ask yourself: What was good about this effort?

The defense? No. It made two more errors, raising its total to nine in its last five games. That doesn't count a couple of plays you might have expected to be made -- a deep fly over the centerfield fence that ticked off Kevin Kiermaier's glove and a bases-loaded chopper that Ji-Man Choi fielded with plenty of time to get the force out at home, only Choi threw high and the run scored. There was also another boot by Willie Adames at shortstop.

"It’s not ideal," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said of the skid. "It’s early, but you can say it’s not that early . We have to get rolling here. There is frustration mounting. We know we’re capable of more on both sides of the ball.

"We’ve got to get back to doing what makes us good. It starts with our defense, making sure we’re doing the right things. The offense is going to come. The defense? That can’t happen. We have to be as consistent as any team in baseball. We haven't played our caliber of defense to date."

The offense? The Rays had only six hits, the seventh time in eight games they've been held to less than 10 hits. After Brandon Lowe tied the game with home run in the fifth, the Rays had only one more hit.

The starting pitching? Snell started well, but he gave up a double and two home runs in the fourth and left trailing.

"I don't like pitching here," Snell said. "I'm not going to lie. That's something I have to get better at. If you pitch in Camden Yards, the ball is going to go out of the park.

Said Cash: "I thought Blake threw the ball really, really well. The last two batters he faced didn’t go well, but I was really impressed with the velocity and the command. I was pleased with Blake. That was about the only pleasing thing we had."

The Rays play Baltimore against tonight at 7:35 at Camden Yards. Tyler Glasnow will start for the Rays against Baltimore's Wade LeBlanc.


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