Castillo falters again in the late innings of a Rays’ loss

by Gary Shelton on June 23, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Castillo is having command issues./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 3 a.m.

If there is really a race going on the AL East -- and it's debatable these days -- it would appear that the Tampa Bay Rays are headed in the wrong direction.

And can anyone stop this fall besides the rocks below?

The Rays, who spent 44 days this year in the AL East lead, have looked shaky in recent days. They lost their seventh game in the last 11 Saturday afternoon, dropping a 4-2 game to the Oakland A's. The Rays are only 30-29 since April 18.

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Ji-Man Choi drove in two runs for the Rays./CHUCK MULLER

This villain this time, once again, was Diego Castillo, who had his second forgettable outing in three nights. He gave up two runs in the seventh on a double by Matt Chapman, then he hit Ramon Laureano on a full count with the bases loaded.

The Rays had just six hits, but Ji-Man Choi drove in both runs with a sacrifice fly and a home run.

Yonny Chirinos went six innings and allowed just two earned runs in a no-decision.

“I thought Yonny competed really, really well out there," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "I don’t think he was as sharp as we’ve seen, but he did a good job limiting damage, made some huge pitches when he needed to because they're was a lot of traffic. I was just impressed overall with Yonny’s performance. Our bats were quiet. Give credit to (Mike) Fiers. It looked like he was throwing some two seamers. That’s not his style, but he kept us off balance, And then he came with the four-seamers. He’s pitched us tough twice now."

The Rays loaded the bases in the third inning with no one out, but scored just once.

"I'm still scratching my head over bases loaded, no outs," Cash said. "We sent seven players to the plate, and we come up with one run. We’re a better offensive club than that. The guys recognize that. Fiers got it done; We did not."

On Castillo, Cash merely offered "the leadoff walk didn't help too much."

Castillo said his problems were from "trying to do too much."

However, if you are trying to find a difference between when the Rays were up by 5 1/2 games in the division and their pedestrian record since then, it's easy to focus on the back end of the bullpen, where the Rays have been shaky.

Today, the Rays and A's play again at 4:07 p.m. at Oakland Coliseum. Ryan Stanek will throw for Tampa Bay against Oakland's Brett Anderson.


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