Rays blow huge lead for eighth straight defeat

by Gary Shelton on April 9, 2018 · 2 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Colome blew his second save of the season./CARMEN MANDATO

Colome blew his second save of the season./JEFFREY S. KING

Monday, 3 a.m.

It's hard to overstate the underachievement of the Tampa Bay Rays.

Take Sunday, one of those rare games that  appeared to be in the control of the Rays. With four outs to go, they held a 7-2 lead over the Boston Red Sox. Finally, it appeared, they were going to generate enough offense to get past the Red Sox.

And then, kablooie.

As quick as a punch to the gut, the Rays had lost. They gave up six hits with two outs in the eighth to blow their lead and win the game 8-7. It was the Rays' most stunning loss, and their fifth by one run in eight losses.

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Mallex Smith had a though afternoon in left./CARMEN MANDATO

Mallex Smith had a tough afternoon in left./CARMEN MANDATO

How do you lose a game where you score seven runs, collect 11 hits and get good pitching at the start of bullpen day?

Well, Matt Andriese gives up four earned runs in 2/3 of an inning.

Alex Colome blows a save and gives up two runs, including the game-winner.

Mallex Smith struggled in left field and was unable to come up with a fly ball that landed for a winning double off the bat of Andrew Benintendi for the winning run.

"It's uncharacteristic," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash.  "I know the Red Sox have seem him quite a bit over the last couple of years. But we trust him to get the job done. He'll correct it, whatever it is that's going on. That game was going sidewise before he came into it."

Andriese gave up four runs in the eighth./CARMEN MANDATO

Andriese gave up four runs in the eighth./CARMEN MANDATO

Cash didn't blame Smith for a ball he lost in the corner.

"I heard the first one hit the garage door," he said. "There is no blame there. The other one was running, trying to track the ball."

The Rays got decent starting pitching from its bullpen. Andrew Kittridge and Ryan Yarborough gave up one earned run each through the first six innings. Jose Alvarado added a shutout seventh.

But the eighth was when the floor collapsed. Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Nunez,  Rafael Devers, Christian Vazquez, Mookie Betts and Benintendi all hit safely to win the game. It was like watching a man slide off of a mountain ledge.

Cron hit is first home run as a Ray./CARMEN MANDATO

Cron hit is first home run as a Ray./CARMEN MANDATO

"Like always, I went out there and did the best I can," Colome said through an interpreter. "It's really tough for all of us. Its no fun."

Said Cash: "It's a tough loss. We can't deny that. We have to keep up with the positivity. It's a long season. We're going to go through some tough times. We had a lot go our way early on. We score seven runs, we should win the game.

"Somehow, we have to make a pitch, make a play. We know the challenges."

The Rays broke the 10-hit barrier with 11 for the first time this season.

The Rays now travel to Chicago to play the White Sox at 2:10 p.m. Chris Archer pitches for the Rays against Miguel Gonzalez.

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