Baz loses command in loss to Minnesota

by Gary Shelton on June 12, 2022

in general

Sunday, 3 a.m.

For the second straight day, a pitcher was cruising only to lose his way.

For yet another time, the Tampa Bay Rays ran the bases willy-nilly, as is they were blindfolded.

One more time, the Rays gave up a huge inning to Minnesota.

And, once more, the Rays fell to the Twins. This time, it was 6-5 on a day Minnesota didn't start either of its top two weapons -- Byron Buxton or Carlos Correa.

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Minnesota roughed up young Shane Baz, making his first start of the season for the Rays, in a five-run third. Bay, who had retired the first six batters, gave up three hits, three walks and a grand slam to Luis Arraez.

“I think he just lost command, for whatever reason," Rays' manager Kevin Cash said. "I can’t exactly pinpoint why. He looked good the  first two innings and then just lost the strike zone. It just drove Shane’s pitch count up a little higher than we wanted."

The Rays were hoping that Baz would show the same form as a year ago and help to stabilize the rotation. But he went 2-0 to Gilberto Celestino before giving up a single, walked Nick Gordon on four pitches, walked Ryan Jeffers on six and went 2-0 to Arraez before giving up the slam.

"I went out there and the first at-bat was fine, then I fell behind the next three or four guys in a row," Bay said. "I have to go after guys and get ahead. It sucks that I cost us the game, but all you do is be better the next time."

During the game, Kevin Kiermaier recorded his 53rd assist from the outfield, a franchise record.

The Rays had taken a 3-0 lead in the first when Ji-Man Choi singled in a run and Yandy Diaz singled in two. The top five batters for the Rays had nine nits.

The Rays try to avoid a sweep today when they play Minnesota at 2:10 p.m. at Target Field. Jeffrey Springs will start for the Rays against Cole Sands.

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