Once again, Rays fail to score against Milwaukee

by Gary Shelton on August 6, 2017 · 0 comments

in Baseball, general, Tampa Bay Rays

Cobb walks off the mound after a good outing end in a bad result./CARMEN MANDATO

Cobb walks off the mound after a good outing ends in a bad result./CARMEN MANDATO

Sunday, 3 a.m.

There are mice in the scoreboard, and they have gnawed away at the wiring. There are termites in the bats, and they have eaten away at the sweet spots. There are stop signs on the base paths.

Surely, there has to be something that has affected the Rays' failure to reach home.

The Rays were shut down for the second consecutive game Saturday night, losing to the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0 one night after losing 2-0. The Rays have now gone 20 straight innings without scoring, and they have fallen 5 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. The Rays trail the Kansas City Royals by one game for the second wild-card spot.

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Duda broke up the no hitter with a single up the middle./CARMEN MANDATO

Duda broke up the no hitter with a single up the middle./CARMEN MANDATO

This time, the Rays were no-hit going into the sixth inning before a single by Lucas Duda. They finished with only four hits, and over two nights, the team is 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

Lucas Duda broke up the no-hitter for the Rays with a sharp single up the middle. He has reached base in all nine of his games since coming to Tampa Bay.

The closest the Rays came to scoring was in the eighth inning when they got two runners on with one out. But pitcher Jacob Barnes, who grew up in St. Pete, got out of the inning by striking out Corey Dickerson and, after a hit batter, got Evan Longoria to fly to center.

Were three innings too many for Stanek?/CARMEN MANDATO

Were three innings too many for Stanek?/CARMEN MANDATO

“It was a long shutout ballgame,” said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. “The offense has gone a little bit quiet. Their guy (Zach Davies) mixed, mixed and kept the ball down. A lot of late action to the cutter, worked in his cutter. He pitched. You don’t always see guys like that. You don’t often see guys who are just commanding both edges, mixing and he had a feel for every single thing that he threw out of his hand. He made it challenging.

“I thought Alex Cobb grinded his way through six innings, one run. Kind of funny to say because you’ll take that start any day of the week, but Alex was probably not as sharp, but credit him for keeping it right there. We just couldn’t get the big hit and we couldn’t get many baserunners on.”

For the second straight night, the Rays wasted a solid pitching outing. This time, it was from Alex Cobb, who like Jacob Faria the night before threw six innings of one-run baseball. Both times, it was good enough for a loss.

“I actually think we are going to be just fine,” Cash said. “It’s unfortunate when it happens back-to-back nights

Miller had a hit to bring his average to .196./CARMEN MANDATO

Miller had a hit to bring his average to .196./CARMEN MANDATO

because it’s going to be talked about and addressed. I attribute more to the two pitchers that we faced. Those guys have been tough on us for multiple reasons. The guy we had last night, we had multiple opportunities and didn’t capitalize and tonight, we didn’t have any opportunities. That guy kept us off base period.”

It wouldn't have altered the loss, but Cash left himself open to second-guessing when he started Ryan Stanek for the third straight inning in the ninth. After two solid innings, Stanek gave up two earned runs in the inning.

Cobb might have have been as sharp as usual, but he finished with a quality start.

“It wasn’t crisp, but getting through six innings with one run and six strikeouts, I’d take that any day of the week,” Cobb said. “Moving forward, you’d like to see less stressful innings, smoother innings and quicker innings. I felt like we were on defense out there a lot. I felt like we weren’t in the dugout very long. Their guy was able to keep their team off the field and I kept my team on the field a little bit longer. You take that outing when you don’t feel the best.

“I’m not going to sit here and tell you what the difficulty was in a one-run, six inning ballgame. There’s a lot of good things that happened. I’d say if I did point to some things I’d like to see a little crisper fastball location, no doubt. Yanking some pitches and some just kind of flying on me. They are a good team. They are tied for first in their division. It’s a tough loss for our team going down twice like that. I feel like we are a better team. We just didn’t put things together.

The Rays try to win their first game of the series today. In fact, they will try to score their first run of the series. Chris Archer (8-6) pitches for the Rays against the Brewers' Jimmy Nelson (9-5) at 1:10 p.m. at the Trop.

Shaw was hit by Hechavarria's glove and the ball while stealing./CARMEN MANDATO

Shaw was hit by Hechavarria's glove and the ball while stealing./CARMEN MANDATO

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