Rays’ bullpen melts down in defeat

by Gary Shelton on April 6, 2024

in general

Adam gave up deciding grand slam./TIM WIRT

Saturday, 4 a.m.

By itself, the way the Rays came from behind was magic.

On the other hand, the way they fell from ahead was tragic.

It happened in a heartbeat. One minute, the Rays had scored five runs in the ninth to put themselves into position to win. The next, the bullpen had blown up — again — and the woebegone Colorado Rockies had salvaged a 10-7 victory.

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Make no mistake: The Rockies had been miserable this season. Both the rotation and the bullpen had ERAs of more than 10. There were five hitters in the lineup hitting less than .200.  The team was 1-6.

And they snatched the win right out of Tampa Bay’s fists.

Call it the night the bullpen blew up. Loser Jason Adam gave up a walk-off grand slam to Ryan McMahon. Closer Pete Fairbanks walked three straight batters, throwing only five strikes on 17 pitches. Colin Poche gave up three runs in an inning.

Despite it all, the Rays managed a five-run ninth on a double by Yandy Diaz and singles by Harold Ramirez, Randy Arozareba and Ben Rortvedt, plus a groundout by Amed Rosario. Rortvedt went to a knee on his two-run single to tie the game, then scored the go-ahead on an error off the bat of Jose Siri.

But it wouldn’t last. Fairbanks couldn’t find the strike zone, and after he struck out Kris Bryant, Adams gave up the slam on his first pitch to McMahon.

The Rays and Rockies play again tonight at 8:10 p.m.

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