Dodgers wear out Rays behind Kershaw

by Gary Shelton on May 22, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Kiermaier out at third trying to get a triple. / CHUCK MULLER

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

When did it turn into 2002 again?

Remember the quick start by the Tampa Bay Rays? Remember the defense? Remember the baserunning?

Does anyone remember where Kevin Cash put it?

The Rays struggled again Tuesday night, falling behind 6-0 to the L.A. Dodgers before falling 7-3. It was the type of game that made you wonder if major league baseball needs a mercy rule, with Avi Garcia committing a two-base error and Kevin Kiermaier getting thrown out at third with no one out in the eighth inning and the Rays trailing by a run.

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Rays' LHP Adam Kolarek threw 2/3 of an inning./CHUCK MULLER

The Rays have now lost three of their last four games and nine of their last 17. They've given up 20 runs in their last two games after giving up a total of five in their previous four games. In their last 21 games, they've been held to three runs or fewer 13 times.

Jalen Beeks gave up eight hits and five runs in 4 2/3 inning, his highest totals of the year.

Rays' Kratz strikes out in his Tropicana Field debut./CHUCK MULLER

"We did so many things really well early on in the year," Rays' manager Cash said. "Unfortunately, the last two games, ugly losses. We have to bounce back tomorrow, but they just beat us tonight."

Said Kiermaier: "We haven’t played clean baseball, I think that’s safe to say. You try to learn from your mistakes. We all have to be accountable for it. We win as a team and lose as a team. That’s all it comes down to. We have to clean things up in all facets of the game. That was a tough one tonight. We all know we could have played better. That’s baseball sometimes. Didn’t go our way. When you play quality teams like that you can’t give them extra opportunities and you have to play good, fundamentally-sound baseball and be really good in offense, defense, base running and pitching.

"(The play) in the 8th was kind of the icing on the cake for us there tonight. That was our game in a nutshell. It happens, but it wasn’t a whole lot of fun tonight playing like that because we need to be better. We know that. I think we can all look at ourselves in the mirror and be accountable and know that we need to play better, plain and simple

Rays' Avisail Garcia had a two-base error./CHUCK MULLER.

Cash called Kiermaier's play to lead off the eighth "overaggressive." Kiermaier seemed torn.

 "I hit the ball in the gap and I saw it kick away from him," Kiermaier said. "I had a full head of steam. It was one of those things. I know my run doesn’t  necessarily matter. At the time, I thought the ball was cut off by an infielder. I wasn’t happy.

"After the game, I go look at the replay and (Alex) Verdugo made a heck of a play. It was amazing. He made a perfect throw, and it was 260, 280 feet. I never want to make outs on the bases.  I take a lot of pride. It was a risky play, and he made me pay."

The Rays' Tommy Pham gave credit to Dodgers' starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

"He throws a ton of strikes," Pham said. "He works the corners. He works in, down, up and away. You see very few balls on the inside part of the plate.

The Rays conclude their short series with the Dodgers tonight. Ryan Stanek pitches for the Rays against Rich Hill. The game begins at 7:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field.

Rays' Beeks struggled against the Dodgers./CHUCK MULLER


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