Sunday, August 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays blow lead, lose to Royals

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
For starters: Rays at Red Sox, trying to salvage something

For starters: Rays at Red Sox, trying to salvage something

UPDATE, 11:54: Cash said the outfield alignment was result of not wanting to put Pham or Bauers in RF for 1st time here. Said Bauers should be somewhat familiar with Green Monster due to similar LF wall at AAA Durham. … Cash said part of reason...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays vs. Red Sox preview: TV, starting pitchers, lookahead, injuries

Rays vs. Red Sox preview: TV, starting pitchers, lookahead, injuries

BOSTON — Here's a look at Sunday's finale of the three-game series between the Rays and Red Sox at Fenway Park:Time/place: 1:05, Fenway Park, BostonTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 760-AM (Spanish)Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297P...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays journal: Tyler Glasnow settles down to pitch well in loss

Rays journal: Tyler Glasnow settles down to pitch well in loss

BOSTON — RHP Tyler Glasnow looked so bad as he struggled through a 28-pitch first inning of the Rays' 5-2 loss to Boston that he knew enough to not look out to the bullpen, which was in action.But after allowing four runs — on two doubles...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Remember all that Rays hate?

Remember all that Rays hate?

BOSTON —Nope, this is not going to be the worst Rays team of all time, as a certain writer for a certain website that you may happen to be reading right now suggested in April was a real possibility. Not going to be second worst, third, even bo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Saturdayís Rays-Red Sox game

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Saturdayís Rays-Red Sox game

OF Carlos Gomez's overall numbers don't look like much (.215, 8 HRs), but he continues to do so many little things to help on and off the field. Saturday, he made a heads-up play by moving up from second to an uncovered third base on an infield pop-u...
Published: 08/18/18
New Rays catcher Michael Perez worth wait

New Rays catcher Michael Perez worth wait

BOSTON — If rookie catcher Michael Perez turns out to be as good as Rays officials think based on their initial reviews, they may thank Steven Souza Jr.Well, not Souza directly.But it was in the process of extensively and intensively scouting A...
Published: 08/18/18
For starters: Rays at Red Sox, facing an old friend

For starters: Rays at Red Sox, facing an old friend

UPDATE, 6:14: The tarp is coming off, so they may start on time at 7:10.UPDATE, 6:10: Just a planned day off for Smith, Cash said, unrelated to his collision with the rightfield wall on Friday. … Glasnow should be in the 90-100 pitch range toni...
Published: 08/18/18
The Raysí kids are all right, and this is a great time to show it

The Raysí kids are all right, and this is a great time to show it

This baseball season has been filled with Haves and Have Nots. And your entertaining Rays are smack dab in the middle of it.Kevin Cash's team left New York for Boston on Thursday night and they hardly needed a plane after a 3-1 win and their first se...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18
Itís David Price time, from Rays Ďopenersí to rise of Blake Snell

Itís David Price time, from Rays Ďopenersí to rise of Blake Snell

BOSTON — David Price heard about the recent reunion of the Rays' 2008 American League championship club that he played a big role on as a small part of, and he had a few questions.What players were there? How did it go? Did second baseman Akino...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18

Rays journal: A 3-0 first-inning lead turns into a loss to powerful Red Sox

BOSTON — Scoring three runs in the top of the first inning is typically a good start toward a victory.But not so much at cozy Fenway Park.And definitely not against these red-hot Red Sox.Facing their AL East rivals for the first time since late...
Published: 08/17/18
Updated: 08/18/18