Rays waste comeback in loss to Twins

by Gary Shelton on August 16, 2021

in general

Meadows' error in the ninth didn't help./TIM WIRT

Monday, 4 a.m.

Two innings, two opportunities.

The Tampa Bay Rays failed. The Minnesota Twins did not.

Sunday's game was as simple as that. The Twins took a 5-4 win by taking advantage of a scoring chance. The Rays lost, and saw their lead in the AL East dwindle to three games, when they did not.

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Consider the top of the eighth inning: Wander Franco reached third base with one out after a double and a sacrifice but was stranded there.

Then there was the bottom of the ninth. The Twins' Max Kepler reached third on a double and an error by left-fielder Austin Meadows. It took two pitches before Jorge Palanco hit a sacrifice fly to bring him home with the win.

The loss squandered a comeback from a 4-0 deficit by the Rays.

"We did some good things early and some not so good," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "We had opportunities early on we did not capitalize on. It was nice to come back. Once we got it tied and we couldn't get it going."

The Rays also had a shot in the seventh when Nelson Cruz struck out with the bases loaded.

It didn't help that on Kepler's double, Meadows couldn't field the ball and hold him to second base.

"It kept going away from me," Meadows said. "I was trying to get to it as fast as I could. It was slicing away. I thought I had it honestly and it just slipped under my glove. I've definitely got to be able to not let that get behind me."

For the second straight game, the Rays had a shaky starting performance. This time, Luis Patino walked five batters in three innings. Matt Wisler took the loss for the Rays.

The Rays return home to Tropicana Field to start a four-game series with Baltimore. Neither team has announced a pitcher for tonight's 7:10 p.m. start.

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