Astros jump Rays early in another win

by Gary Shelton on May 2, 2021

in general

Brandon Lowe had two his in the loss./CHUCK MULLER

Sunday, 3 a.m.

If the Tampa Bay Rays want to compete for another American League title, someone should alert the club house.

They're going the wrong direction.

The dismal offensive slump of the Rays continued Saturday afternoon in a 3-1 loss to the Houston Astros. Houston scored three times before the Rays got a second batter out, and the Rays' bats did the rest.

The Rays have now lost three straight games and have fallen to fifth place in the AL East. They're 13-15 on the season.

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The Rays had just five hits on Saturday and did'nt score until the bottom of the ninth inning. They are now three-for-their-last-54 with runners on base.

"It is baffling," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash of the offensive slump. "That’s the way it goes sometimes. Look, we can dwell on runners in scoring position. We’re just not getting people on base at a clip we’re capable of . 

"It’s tough to see our guys going through it. They’re wearing it on their sleeves like they have been for too long a time. You know what the guys do, the work they're putting in. It’s just not coming easy. As far as changing philosophy or thought-process, I don’t think that’s the right way to go. Let’s trust what made us good in the past."

Yes, Cash said. His team is pressing.

"Yeah, we’re pressing," Cash said. "And they probably should be at this point. They want to do stuff to get us out of it. One big swing with guys  on base in a tight ballgame makes everyone feel good. There's nothing wrong with pressing, or admitting it. We might as well embrace it. We have to get out of it together."

The Astros jumped on starter Josh Fleming early, with three hits, two walks and three runs in the first inning. But Houston managed just one hit afterward.

The Rays will play the Astro again at Tropicana Field at 1:10 p.m. Rich Hill is scheduled to start for Tampa Bay against the Astros' Christian Javier.

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