This time, the Rays’ rally falls short

by Gary Shelton on September 19, 2021

in general

Yarbrough had a shaky start to the game./JEFFREY S. KING

Sunday, 4 a.m.

This time, the hole was too deep.

This time, the comeback was muted.

This time, Brett Phillips struck out.

The Tampa Bay Rays tried to charge from behind again Saturday, but fell just short in a 4-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Once again, the Rays got shaky

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starting pitching, and made a late rush. But not all comebacks are magical, and although the Rays got the first two batters of the ninth inning on base, they ended up losing their 22nd one-run game of the year.

The Rays' lead in the American League East fell to 7 1/2 games over Boston, 8 1/2 over Toronto and nine over the New York Yankees. The Rays are 4-6 in their last 10 games.

Phillips, the star of Friday night's win with a 10th-inning, three-run homer, struck out. Yandy Diaz then hit into a double play to end the game.

"We didn’t have many runners on base," said manager Kevin Cash. "We had five hits and three runs going into the last two innings. We’ve got to get on first. We did put some pressure on in the end. They pitch us well."

The Rays' Ryan Yarbrough gave up four runs to the first seven batters he faced. He finished well, shutting out Detroit for the last four innings.

“It was encouraging," Cash said of Yarbrough. "You want to see guys performing well here at the end of the season. Yarbs admittedly has had a tough go here lately. He did some things, the pitching efficiency. He was able to keep us in the game. It’s gone sideways a couple of times as of late and he didn’t allow that."

The Rays close out their four-game series with Detroit today at 1:10 p.m. at Tropicana Field. The Rays have not announced a starting pitcher. The Tigers will start Wily Peralta.

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