Saturday, November 18, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays blow lead, lose to Royals

RECOMMENDED READING


ST. PETERSBURG — Kevin Kiermaier did his part, delivering his first professional grand slam in a four-hit night. So did Alex Cobb, pitching into the seventh for the first time in nearly a month. Relievers Grant Balfour, Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger all pitched in.

That got the Rays to the ninth inning Wednesday with a two-run lead in a game they had to have to maintain their streak of winning series, their momentum and their renewed hope of salvaging the season.

But for it all to work, and to really matter, manager Joe Maddon has said, everyone on the team must do his job. "I can't emphasize enough that we have to all contribute and not just several guys," he said.

Joel Peralta didn't, faltering to start the ninth, allowing a single and a one-out walk. Then rookie Kirby Yates, thrust into the toughest situation of his 11-game major-league career, failed, allowing a three-run homer to Salvador Perez.

And what looked to be another inspiring win instead turned into a cruel, crushing defeat for the Rays, 5-4.

"It stings a little bit," Yates said. "Obviously it's a game we should have won. We needed to win. Every W, every win is kind of crucial right now. Obviously it doesn't feel good to be in that situation and let your team down."

The loss was just the Rays' third in their past 12 games, but with series wins their new currency, it was costly, ending their streak at three. They dropped back to 42-52 and stayed nine games behind the American League East-leading Orioles.

Maddon said he had no regrets about putting Yates, the 27-year-old called up a month ago for his first look, in such a treacherous situation. "He's been a closer at Triple A, he has great stuff," Maddon said. "He put a pitch in a bad spot and we lost the game."

But he also said his original plan — after intentionally limiting the workload for Balfour (who faced two batters and got one out), McGee (three and one) and Boxberger (two and two) — was for Peralta to close the ninth. And it was when that didn't work that he went to Yates to face two right-handed hitters, Santana lofting the ball just over the short wall in the leftfield corner, 330 feet of heartbreak. (Juan Carlos Oviedo, a more experienced option, was not available due to soreness.)

Peralta said his mistake was not getting ahead of the hitters. He allowed a 1-and-1 single to Jarrod Dyson, who stole second and third as Peralta struck out Lorenzo Cain, then he fell behind Eric Hosmer and walked him, leading to Yates being summoned.

The way Maddon saw it, it was the unproductive offense — 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, 11 left on — that put them in this situation.

Then it was a two-out single by Cain in the seventh that prompted the bullpen shuffle. He didn't want Cobb to face Hosmer, who had been swinging well against him, so he had to summon Balfour to finish the seventh.

Then he brought in McGee to start the eighth but didn't like how his best reliever looked: "Jake's been over-extended, I didn't see the same stuff.

So then he went to Boxberger, whom he didn't want to use at all, to get through the eighth. And that led to Peralta starting the ninth, and that led to trouble, a silent locker room and a noticeable sense of loss.

"This one is bad," Peralta said. "It really hurts."

 
Comments
Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

Rocco Baldelli’s promotion on Rays coaching staff now makes him major league field coordinator

The Rays completed the reorganization of their coaching staff by giving Rocco Baldelli the title of major league field coordinator.In being promoted from first-base coach, Baldelli will implement ideas and information from the staff, while assisting ...
Published: 11/17/17
Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

Rays hope to cash in on Alex Cobb leaving

LAKE BUENA VISTA — The Rays were banking on pitcher Alex Cobb declining their one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer based on the lure of a longer-term and more lucrative deal elsewhere as a free agent.With that decision official Thursday, now the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

Commissioner Rob Manfred likes Ybor City stadium site, but must see more support to keep baseball in Tampa Bay

LAKE BUENA VISTA — MLB commissioner Rob Manfred didn’t want to talk Thursday about what might happen if the current effort to build the Rays a new stadium at the Ybor City site falls through."I’m more focused on working with the community to figure o...
Published: 11/16/17
A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

A message to Rays fans from Alex Cobb

Here is a message from RHP Alex Cobb after he officially left the Rays Thursday in declining their one-year, $17.4-milllion qualifying offer to seek a bigger and longer pact elsewhere:"Getting to this point in my career is truly bittersweet."Twelve y...
Published: 11/16/17
UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE: Rays to gain draft pick for loss of free agent pitcher Alex Cobb

UPDATE, 5:01: Cobb did not accept the offer by the deadline, as expected.DEVELOPING: Sometime before today's 5 p.m. deadline, the Rays will get official word that their $17.4-million slight gamble on Alex Cobb paid off.The Rays made the free-agent ri...
Published: 11/16/17
As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

As he prepares to leave the Rays, how will you remember Alex Cobb?

Presuming Alex Cobb declines the Rays’ one-year, $17.4-million qualifying offer by 5 p.m. today, he has pitched his last game for Tampa Bay.Cobb has received preliminary interest from "lots of teams" already, agent Dan Horwits said. The Cubs and Twin...
Published: 11/16/17
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred says progress must continue on new stadium to keep Rays

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made clear Thursday that identification of a site for a new Rays stadium is merely the first step for area leaders to show they want to keep the team long-term and that there needs to "consistent forward movement" on the ...
Published: 11/16/17
Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

Sternberg: Tampa Bay Rays' share of new ballpark could be $150 million

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Tampa Bay Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Wednesday that the team is "genuinely excited" about the proposed Ybor City site for a new stadium and more than "cautiously optimistic" the project can be completed. But ...
Published: 11/15/17
Updated: 11/16/17

Rays journal: No big deals at GM meetings, but possible groundwork laid

By MARC TOPKINLAKE BUENA VISTA — Rays officials left the GM meetings without making any big deals — such as trading Alex Colome or Chris Archer to the Cardinals — but more knowledgeable about the possibilities. "Expectations were to utilize these few...
Published: 11/15/17
Watch: Brandy Halladay’s emotional tribute to her late husband, Roy

Watch: Brandy Halladay’s emotional tribute to her late husband, Roy

For his wife, Brandy, Roy Halladay was so much more than a standout pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies.During a a celebration of life ceremony Tuesday at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Brandy remembered Halladay — who died Nov...
Published: 11/15/17