Punchless Rays lose once again to Red Sox

by Gary Shelton on September 3, 2021

in general

Zunino had a hit against Red Sox./TIM WIRT

Friday, 4 a.m.

In September, how big of a lead do you need to relax?

Evidently, it is more than the 6 1/2 games the Rays lead the New York Yankees by. It is probably more than the eight games they lead the Red Sox by. On nights when they do not hit, no margin seems wide enough.

The Rays stumbled again on Thursday night, losing a 4-0 lead game to the Red Sox. It was the second straight night they lost to Boston, and the second straight night their bats were mostly quiet. In the last two nights, the Rays are 0-14 with runners in scoring position.

Content beyond this point is for members only.

Already a member? To view the rest of this column, sign in using the handy "Sign In" button located in the upper right corner of the GarySheltonSports.com blog (it's at the far right of the navigation bar under Gary's photo)!

Not a member? It's easy to subscribe so you can view the rest of this column and all other premium content on GarySheltonSports.com.

This time, it was pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez who shut down the Rays, who managed just five hits.

The Rays, on the other hand, saw young Shane McClanahan struggle. He gave up eight hits and four earned runs in five innings, and four times, the leadoff batter reached.

"We weren’t able to get the lead out," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Boston had a good approach. They got big hits off him with guys on base. It did feel like  there was a lot of traffic out there for him. I know he picked the strikeouts up -- he is going to do that more times than not with his stuff. That leadoff guy created a little havoc."

McClanahan didn't focus on the four batters reaching after leading off an inning. "It was the eight hits," he said. "I've got to do a better job executing pitches."

The Rays found a new concern late in the game. After Wander Franco walked in the seventh to extend his on-base streak to 33 games -- tied for third place in major league history for a player 20 years old or younger -- he had to leave the game with a headache. The previous night, Franco had been tagged out at the plate, and manager Kevin Cash wondered if that played a part.

The Rays now open a three-game series at Tropicana Field against Minnesota. In tonight's game, Michael Wacha will start against Randy Dobnak. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

Previous post:

Next post: