Friday, January 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose to Orioles to open homestand

ST. PETERSBURG — With the Orioles threatening to score the go-ahead run in the eighth inning Tuesday night, a peculiar power outage at Tropicana Field sparked a 19-minute delay.

But it appeared to only delay the inevitable, as veteran reliever Joel Peralta couldn't escape his self-made jam in a 5-3 loss to Baltimore in front of 11,855.

"It wasn't the lights, it was me," Peralta said. "I was missing the pitches, making bad pitches. And they got me. It's my fault."

Peralta was already in trouble before a strand of lights flickered. He gave up a single and double to put runners on second and third with just one out. When the lights came back, and Peralta returned to the mound, he walked Steve Pearce to load the bases, and Ryan Flaherty knocked in the winning run with a single to right.

Manager Joe Maddon said he liked Peralta against that part of the lineup, though was not sure why the veteran setup man didn't use his fastball more.

"I have as much confidence in him as anybody that I've ever had as a relief pitcher," Maddon said. "Just did not have a very good night."

The outage, caused when a transformer carrying an incoming power line was struck by lightning, according to Duke Energy, made for another long game (3 hours, 36 minutes) for the Rays, who had returned from an encouraging 5-5 road trip through Chicago, Boston and New York.

Evan Longoria gave the Rays an early lead with a two-out, two-run homer in the first, his fifth career blast off Chris Tillman. Righthander Chris Archer kept Tampa Bay close in a five-inning outing. And recently struggling Ben Zobrist tied it up with a sacrifice fly in the seventh. The Rays (15-18) even made it interesting in the ninth, putting runners on second and third with one out. But it wasn't enough as Tampa Bay dropped its third loss to the AL East-leading Orioles (16-14), who have outscored them 15-4.

Archer was looking to bounce back from a rough start in Thursday's doubleheader in Boston, when he walked five and lasted a season-low 42/3 innings. He went just five innings Tuesday, but was a little better, making big pitches to wiggle out of back-to-back bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth, allowing just two sacrifice flies (three runs overall). Archer scattered seven hits in 100 pitches, walking just one, though Maddon said he threw too many sliders in bad spots.

"It's an improvement from last game, but not where I want to be," Archer said. "I'm not the type of pitcher who goes five innings and throws 100 pitches. So I can definitely be better. I still expect way more out of myself than that."

Brad Boxberger, called up again Tuesday, stepped right in, pitching 12/3 innings of hitless relief to keep the Rays solvent until they tied it in the seventh, a rally keyed by David DeJesus' walk in a 10-pitch at bat. During the eighth-inning outage, most players left the field, except Matt Joyce and Desmond Jennings, who sat down in center as Bugs Bunny played baseball on the JumboTron. "I saw a couple of their guys sitting in the outfield, Looney Tunes was on the scoreboard," Flaherty said. "It was kind of a bizarre moment."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

 
Comments
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 33948Get tickets here: (941) 206-4487Pitchers report: Feb. 13. Squad reports: Feb. 19TEAM SCHEDULE(games at 1:05 unless noted)(ss - split squad)Feb 23 at Orioles (ss) (Sarasota)Feb 23 PIRATE...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Former Phillies and Indians manager Charlie Manuel will receive the Ted Williams Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 10 in Clearwater.The honor is bestowed by the Ted Williams Museum at its annual Hitters Hall of Fame induction, moving this year from ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Armwood High product Matt Joyce, the current A's and former Rays outfielder, hosts his ninth annual Sweet Swingin' charity baseball camp for kids 6-12 on Sunday at the North Brandon youth baseball complex (2929 S Kingsway Rd, Seffner).Registration st...
Published: 01/18/18
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Published: 01/17/18
A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

With the start of spring training now less than a month away, here is what the Rays roster looks like, with the most glaring hole at first base, which at this point seems likely to be manned by Brad Miller, and some questions about the pitching staff...
Published: 01/17/18
Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

The Rays' March 29 season-opener against the Red Sox has been set for a 4 p.m. first pitch at Tropicana Field.This will be the ninth straight year the Rays have opened at home, and the third time they have opened against the rival Red Sox.  The ...
Published: 01/17/18
Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight    Ted Williams museum inductions

Tony Perez, Dick Allen to highlight Ted Williams museum inductions

Hall of Famer Tony Perez and longtime Phillies/White Sox star Dick Allen will be inducted into the Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame next month in Clearwater.Former Yankees Cy Young Award winner Ron Guidry and longtime Astros ace J.R. Richard also wi...
Published: 01/16/18
Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- itís TV tidbits time

Jones: Besties, Ball and bloopers -- itís TV tidbits time

Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.Best comebackExcuse Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp for getting so carried away that he dropped the queen bee of curse words on live television Sun...
Published: 01/14/18
Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Jesuit High product Lance McCullers gets big raise, avoids arbitration

Astros right-hander Lance McCullers, a Tampa native and former Jesuit High standout, reached a one-year deal for $2.45 million on Friday, avoiding arbitration. McCullers, 24, made $548,000 last season.
Published: 01/12/18