Pitching depth catches up to Rays in loss

by Gary Shelton on April 18, 2023

in general

Tuesday, 4 a.m.

This is the part that makes you nervous. This is the part that raises doubts.

Suddenly, is the pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays deep enough?

The Rays, as good as they have been through the early going of the baseball season, aren't as well-armed as once they were. They're without three starters from their staring rotation -- Zach Eflin, Jeffrey Springs and Tyler Glasgow. That means the team has to piece together games.

Sometimes, like Monday night, it leaves a team in pieces.

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The Rays lost to a below-.500 Cincinnati team, 8-1. They didn't hit much, and they didn't pitch much, and Cincinnati continued to be a horrible place for them to play.

Rays' reliever Kevin Kelly gave up three earned runs in an inning, including two walks.

Teammate Cooper Criswell gave up four runs, too (in three innings), including two hit batters.

"(Kelly) just couldn’t find the strike zone and couldn’t reset," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. " He sped up a little bit. They had some good at bats. They certainly didn’t help him any. It looked like he lost feel of his slider and the fastball. It’s going to happen."

The Rays seemed to have a better chance once hard-throwing Hunter Greene left the game after taking a liner off his leg, but the Rays couldn't piece together hits. They left nine men on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.

The biggest moment for the Rays was the sixth, when Manny Margot hit a slicing ball to right with the bases loaded. Reds' right fielder Jake Fraley made a diving catch, however.

"When they got guys on base, they found hits," Cash said. "When we got guys on base, we didn’t."

The Rays' only run came on a home run by Josh Lowe in the ninth.

The Rays play at the Reds again tonight at 6:40 p.m. The Rays are expected to start Taj Bradley against Nick Lodolo will start for the Reds.

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