Rays continue to suffer through horrid week

by Gary Shelton on June 20, 2021

in general

Lowe's homer tied the game in the ninth./ CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 4 a.m.

If the week had been any worse for the Tampa Bay Rays, it would have involved stomach flu and lost paychecks.

As it was, the Rays spent the week falling down a staircase.

-- They have lost five games in a row.

-- They have lost three games (out of the last four) by walk-offs.

-- They have lost two games in extra innings.

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-- They have lost star pitcher Tyler Glasnow.

-- They have lost the designation of having the best record in baseball.

-- They have lost the lead in the American League East.

And furthermore, ouch.

The Rays dropped a 6-5 game to Seattle in 10 innings Saturday night. Reliever J.P. Feyeriesen threw exactly one pitch -- which was laced into left field by Mitch Hanger. That drove in gimme runner J.P. Crawford with the winning run.

Crawford had hit a grand slam in the Mariner's five-run second inning to get the Mariners off to a good start. In that second inning, Rays' starter Josh Fleming gave up four hits and a walk.

"It hasn’t been ideal," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said of the week. "It’s been tough We don’t like to lose games, and we generally don’t put these type of strings together."

Even with their ghost runner, the Rays could not score in the top of the tenth.

"We’re on the road," Cash said. "No point in bunting with (Mike) Zunino running. We just have to do a better job getting the guy to third. We have watched that time and time again this year. We’re not executing. We're not showing the adjustments that we’re capable of doing. It’s cost us multiple times this season. Moving the baseball, getting the guy from second to third gives us that much better of a chance. We didn’t get it done tonight. We haven’t been very good at that as of late."

The Rays were able to come back in the game because of home runs by Manuel Margot, Zunino and -- in the ninth -- pinch-hitter Brandon Lowe.

"It’s one of those things that sucks," Zunino said. "It’s baseball. We’ve been on the opposite end of that. I think the biggest thing is that we’re playing good baseball. We’re dragging out at-bats. We're just coming off on the other foot.  We’ve just got to come out and keep playing good baseball and things will turn around for us."

New Rays' reliever Drew Rasmussen made his debut. He faced five hitters and struck out four.

The Rays try to avoid getting swept in the four-game series today at T-Mobile Park at 4 p.m. Shane McClanahan will pitch for the Rays against Marco Gonzales .


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