Another bottom-feeder bites the Rays

by Gary Shelton on July 26, 2022

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

Can someone please get a decent team on the line?

The Tampa Bay Rays would like to schedule a game.

Whar are the Boston Red Sox doing? Hey, the Rays are 8-2 against Boston. How about Toronto? The Rays are 5-3 against the Blue Jays. Or Seattle, another team in the wild card bunch? The Rays are 5-2 against them.

But these pesky last-place teams continue to stick to the Rays' cleats like goo.

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The Baltimore Orioles, the tag-a-longs of the AL East, beat the Rays 5-1 on Monday night. It was yet another game against a last-place team. This year, the Rays are 12-14 against last-place teams, including six losses in their last seven games.

The Rays didn't pitch very well Monday night -- Corey Kluber gave up seven hits and four earned runs in five innings. They didn't hit, getting only two hits in their last five innings. They didn't field -- an error by Ji-Man Choi led to a Baltimore run.

Baltimore is now tied with Boston in the AL East, four games behind the Rays.

"A bunch of guys weren’t seeing the ball very well," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said about his team's offense. "We did early on; we got some guys on base. When you do that, you’ve got to find ways to make contact, to get the ball to the outfield, to score some runs. We did not. Their bullpen got on a run where there weren't many opportunities."

The Rays, who have scored six runs in their last three games, were one for 12 with runners in scoring position. They left 10 men on base.

Kluber did well until the fifth, when he gave up three hits and hit a batter. The big blow was a two-run single by Ryan Mountcastle.

"Maybe he didn’t execute pitches he way that we’ve seen him do," Cash said. "He had a long layoff but that's not an excuse. The Orioles did a good job of capitalizing in those moments. They certainly got big hits with guys on base There was a play (Choi's error) that certainly didn’t help. Not assuming we’re going to get a double play, but an out would have been really been beneficial in that situation."

The Rays and Orioles play again tonight at 7:05 at Camden Yards. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Spenser Watkins.

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