Rays can’t drive in enough runners to win

by Gary Shelton on September 25, 2022

in general

Saturday, 4 a.m.

It is always there, like a vulture hungrily staring down. Of all the problems of the Tampa Bay Rays this season, this is the most prevalent one, the one that has led to the most disappointments.

It is the inability to hit when runners are in scoring position.

And it chewed up the Rays again in Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.

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The Rays were just one-for-seven with runners in scoring position, a familiar malady. For the year, they have hit just .182 (87-for-479) in their 68 losses. In their 84 wins, they've hit .313 (241-for-770). When they hit with men on base, they win. When they do not, they lose.

This time, much of the problem was Toronto’s Alex Manoah, who threw seven innings and allowed just four hits.

Almost as good was Drew Rasmussen, who was charged with one earned run in 6 `1/3 innings. He allowed three hits.

But Rasmussen gave ups a double ion this seventh, which brought on Brooks Raley. Raley there 14 pitches and lasted one-third of an inning, giving up a walk and a three-run homer to Whit Merrifield.

“He’s just really talented," Cash said of Manoah. "He’s got a good feel for what he wants to do. He can run the fastball up, he can sink a fastball. He's got a couple of different shapes with the breaking ball. I don’think any hitter gets the same look consistently."

The Rays now trail Toronto by one game in the AL Wild Card race. They will play the Blue Jays today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. Shane McClanahan will start for the Rays against Ross Stripling.

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