Rays’ bullpen blows up in Sox’ comeback

by Gary Shelton on May 2, 2023

in general

Monday, 4 a.m.

The best wins for a baseball team are when it comes from behind.

The worst losses are when it falls from ahead.

The Tampa Bay Rays were reminded of that Saturday, with its bullpen falling apart in a 12-9 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Oh, the Rays had their typical outburst to take the lead in a five-run eighth inning.

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That left the Rays nursing a 9-5 lead in the ninth inning, but for once the Rays couldn't hold on. The White Sox scored seven in the inning to santch the victory.

Five of the last six White Sox hitters had hits, all of them with two strikes, and Andrew Vaughn finished it off with a three-run homer.

With Pete Fairbanks sidelined with his hand circulation issue, the Rays turned the ball over the Jalen Beeks in the ninth. He gave up five runs on four hits.

That brought on Garrett Cleavinger, who gave up a run-tying single and the winning home run.

“Ultimately, we didn’t execute pitches," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Credit the White Sox. We got ahead of guys and couldn’t put them away. We got behind guys and they got on base. It happens."

The Rays certainly had enough offense to win. They scored nine more runs on 13 hits. They got two home runs from Luke Raley and one each from Taylor Walls and Christian Bethancourt. Walls went four-for-five with two stolen bases.

But at the end, the Rays couldn't coast a third strike from the Sox hitters.

The Rays are off today, then are home on Tuesday against Pittsburgh.

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