Rays blasted again in Red Sox sweep

by Gary Shelton on April 8, 2021

in general

Yarbrough was roughed up by Boston./STEVEN MUNCIE

Thursday, 4 a.m.

The Tampa Bay Rays are scheduled to play their home opener on Friday.


Has there ever been a defending league champion who has entered a season with less sizzle than this one? The Rays dropped their fourth straight game Wednesday, getting blasted once again. This time, it was 9-2 to last season's AL East cellar-dwelling Boston Red Sox, a game in which the Rays didn't hit, didn't pitch and didn't catch.

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In their last four games, the Rays have given up 38 runs and 53 hits. It hasn't taken long to start talking about how early the season is.

Add that to an off-season when Blake Snell was traded, when Charlie Morton left, when Nick Anderson was hurt, when Kevin Kiermaier was hurt and when owner Stuart Sternberg kept winking in the direction of Montreal, and it's hard for the fans to muster a lot of enthusiasm.

This time, No. 2 pitcher Ryan Yarbrough was knocked around, giving up nine runs (six of them earned) in five innings as the Red Sox pounced on the Rays for the third straight game.

“This is a good team," manager Kevin Cash said. "They’ve got a good mindset. They’re frustrated. We’re  all frustrated right now. We haven’t performed to our capabilities. It’s a long season, but we'd like to start playing better, specifically in a couple of areas. We’ve got to hit better with men on base, and most of all, we'd like to clean the defense up and help our pitchers out a little bit."

Infielder Joey Wendle said it was too early to worry, but not too early to play better.

"It hasn't been good in the last four," he said. "It's not where we wanted to be at the end of this road trip. There are some things that need to be addressed, some things that need to be worked on. But we’re six games into a 162-game season. I don’t think there is real sense of panic. There is a sense of urgency."

The Rays are off today, then play at home at Tropicana Field Friday afternoon to face the Yankees at 3:10 p.m.. Rich Hill will start for the Rays and face Corey Kluber of the Yankees.

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