This time, the Rays can’t catch the Blue Jays

by Gary Shelton on August 8, 2019 · 0 comments

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

McKay gave up two homers, but he pitched well./TIM WIRT

Thursday, 3 a.m.

This time, the comeback fell short. This time, the tying run died on base.

This time, the Rays lost -- again -- to the Toronto Blue Jays.

A day after a six-run rally beat the Jays, the Rays were unable to overcome a four-run deficit in a 4-3 defeat. They scored three runs in their last two innings, but they still fell a run short when Tommy Pham struck out with a runner on first after going ahead 3-0.

The Rays lost two games of three to the Jays, who had entered the game at 46-70 for the year.

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Kiermaier suffered a cracked bat./TIM WIRT

“The bats came alive there a little bit too late," said Rays' manager Kevin Cash. "Tough loss. Got to find a way to have some better at-bats in that game. Seemed like Toronto’s pitchers got in a rhythm and we just couldn’t do anything to combat it. I thought Brendan (McKay) threw the ball pretty

Zunino had a home run./TIM WIRT

well. Gave up the two solo homers, but gave us every chance to win the game.”

The Rays fell behind 4-0 on three home runs by the Jays. The Rays had just three hits through seven innings.

In particular, Cash said that Pham and Ji-Man Choi were struggling.

"Tommy, he’s not seeing the ball well," Cash said. "The same can be said for Ji-Man. Neither one of those guys has been seeing the ball well. They’re having some uncharacteristic at-bats.  They’re getting pitched well, but those two generally give

you good at bats. Now it’s kind of working the other way. They’re  getting some pitches to hit and they’re not making the

Garcia checks his swing for Rays./TIM WIRT

most of it. Before you know it, they’re down 0-2 or 1-2 in the count."

Cash wasn't happy with the 3-2 homestand.

“It's not good enough," Cash said. "We've got to find a way to have more success. Going on a six-game road trip and we’ve got to do better than 3-3. Where we’re at and the teams we’re going up against right now – we’ve got to find ways to win.”

The Rays had a chance to do more damage late, but a deep fly ball by Austin Meadows hit the top of the fence rather than clearing it.

McKay went five innings and gave up two of the three home runs. He struck out eight.

Sogard looks toward home plate./TIM WIRT

“Fairly consistent," Cash said. "He’s pretty polished for a young pitcher as far as commanding the baseball. I still think there’s room for improvement, but that goes with everybody that steps on the mound. He’s going to get more comfortable. I think the last home run he gave up was a breaking ball that just kind of spun and didn’t have much bite to it. His pitches will improve, but he commands the baseball really well. He’s never out of a count, because he’s a strike-thrower. Really encouraging.”

Said McKay: "It had a lot of great promise to it. I started off feeling good, commanding the zone. At times I got away from it.

Adames has played well for the Rays./TIM WIRT

That’s when guys put good swings on balls. I was on the defensive mode and they were in attack mode. Missed some locations here and there and they made me pay for it. The first (home run) was a good pitch. They just made a really good swing on it – nothing you can do about that. The second one, I wanted to bury the curveball and do too much with it. Kind of hung up a little too long.”

Catcher Mike Zunino thought McKay threw the ball well.

“I thought he threw the ball extremely well," Zunino said. "I thought he commanded the ball well. Threw more strikes than

Brosseau is hit by a pitch for Rays./TIM WIRT

he did in Boston. Worked ahead of guys. A couple pitches here and there – one breaking ball to Grichuk – but that’s one of those things where I think as a whole he threw the ball extremely well today and very encouraging for us.”

The Rays have today off, then travel to Seattle for a game at 10:10 p.m. on Friday.


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