For the Rays, Home is for Horrors

by Gary Shelton on August 17, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Charlie Morton deserved a better fate./STEVEN MUNCIE

Saturday, 3 a.m.

They're home again.

And maybe, just maybe, those beds are too comfortable.

There is something about playing at home that makes most teams a little better. Not so with the Tampa Bay Rays, who continued to struggle at Tropicana Field with a 2-0 loss to Detroit.

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Matt Duffy had three of the Bucs' five hits./STEVEN MUNCIE

They're a mediocre 31-29 at home this year, and only 24-27 after a 7-2 start to the year. They're the best team in the league (40-29) away from home, but once here, they seem to hate the joint.

The Rays managed only five hits, three of them by Matt Duffy.

Eric Sogard kept his hitting going./STEVEN MUNCIE

“I’m not really sure (why the offense struggled to get going)," manager Kevin Cash said. "You certainly have to give credit to their pitchers. (Norris) comes in and he’s efficient. He throws fastball-slider approach for the most part and then VerHagen comes in, and it’s a different look – sinker- baller, not a big breaking ball going, but just kept us off balance. Not a lot of hard hits, not a lot of hits and left too many guys on base.”

The Rays wasted an effort by Charlie Morton in the loss, who gave up only an unearned run in seven innings (three hits).

Aguilar runs to first to get the out./STEVEN MUNCIE

“He had to be perfect and he was close to perfect as you can get," Cash said. "I think the run might have been unearned. He was outstanding. You’ve gotten used to it now, but you like to see those starts when he gets deep in the ball game, fills it up and doesn’t let guys score, we’ll find a way to win, we just didn’t today.”

Morton struck out 10 in the loss.

“We did pretty good," Morton said. "I think (d’Arnaud) called a good game, but that cross-up there, that can’t happen. I threw

him a pitch that he didn’t call for. That not only cost us a run, that puts him at risk health-wise. I feel like I got ahead pretty well. I executed some pitches, but I came up short.”

Oliver Drake pitched a scoreless ninth./STEVEN MUNCIE

“It definitely stuck with me because it’s one of those things where it’s happened for a few years now. There have been some adjustments that have been made, and I feel like it’s been somewhat league-wide, when a guy gets on second. You see guys where they’ll have sign sequences or a card in their hat or their back pocket – that’s for good reason. You use somewhat intricate signs so those things will happen, but usually not with a runner on third and with a run that’s crucial to the game that lost you the game. That’s rare for that to happen, but the health thing too, that’s more concerning than that because you can get real hurt back there. That’s what I was worried about more than the ramifications in terms of the game. I was more concerned. He told me, ‘it got me on the meat. Hit me on the muscle.’”

The Rays play Detroit again at 6:10 this evening at Tropicana Field. Ryan Yarbrough (11-3) will pitch against Jordan Zimmerman (1-8).

Kiermaier after striking out./STEVEN MUNCIE


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