Rays fall a little farther as Mariners sweep

by Gary Shelton on June 21, 2021

in general

Castillo gave up a grand slam in the 10th./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 4 a.m.

By now, you know how the game ends. The Rays trudge off the field as the other team celebrates. The pitcher of the moment has his shoulders slumped. The faces of the players are drawn, pained.

Yeah, the Tampa Bay Rays lost again Sunday.

Once again, it was because of a walk-off (Shed Long Jr. hit a grand slam). Once again, it was in extra innings (the 10th). Once again, the Rays' worst dive of the season fell downward by another notch. Once again, the Rays were left talking about how no one was worried because, after all, this is a very good team.


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The Rays fell another level Sunday afternoon, losing a 6-2 game to the Seattle Mariners. It was the team's sixth straight losses, their fourth walk-off loss in five days, their third extra inning loss of the week. Afterward the Rays continued their brave talk about how things will soon right themselves and asked you not to notice that they are in a week in which a season could be slipping away.

Long's homer, on a 1-1 pitch with two out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, came off of Diego Castillo, his fourth loss in six decisions.

Once again -- and this is familiar, too -- the Rays did not score in the top of the inning despite their designated runner. This time, it was Kevin Kiermaier, but he did not move.

"We’ve just got to do a better job of getting that runner over," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I think we had the right guys up, left-handers who can pull the ball. We just didn’t get it done."

The Rays had only five hits in the game -- they haven't had a game with 10 hits during their losing streak while they have struck out 62 times. Perhaps that is why the team called up prospect Wander Franco.

Cash, however, said he was not worried about the streak.

“On the moment, you can appreciate that (a close loss is more painful)," Cash said. "The next day. it’s a loss. We didn’t play good enough to win this game early on, middle of the game or late. It's magnified because it’s a walk-off, but at the end of the day. it’s a loss.

"I don’t know that we need to regroup. We need to play a little better baseball. We’re all fine. We just need to win."

The Rays waisted their most solid starting performance in a week. Shane McClanahan went six innings and allowed just three hits and a run.

"Obviously, I don’t  want to lose, but I’d be lying to you if I said I was worried," McClanahan said. "I’m not worried at all. This a great group of guys. We're going to start winning. That’s who we are. This team is a bunch of winners. It’s just been a couple of games haven’t gone our way."

The Rays have given up seven homers in the skid.

The Rays are off today, then return to Tropicana Field to face the Red Sox on Tuesday night at 7:10 p.m.. The Rays have not announced a starter. The Red Sox Will pitch Eduardo Rodriguez.

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