Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Five steals part of bad game for Rays catcher Conger

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays C Hank Conger had a pretty bad day at the office.

Most troubling, he allowed the Indians to steal five bases Thursday, including three in the first inning, and made an errant throw in the 6-0 loss.

More frustrating, with a chance to make amends with a one-out double in the fifth inning of what was then a 1-0 game, he was called out on a replay review for coming off the base as he popped up from his slide.

Controlling the running game was a concern when the Rays got Conger from Houston, where he threw out only one of 43 potential basestealers, and the last 37 were safe.

The Rays were confident he would be better under their tutelage, and their more focused strategy in holding runners, but thus far Conger is 0-for-7 with the Rays, and 0-for-his-last-44.

"They got good jumps and took care of their opportunities and went from there," Conger said. "I'm not worried (about the streak). As long as I put the ball on the bag and make some good throws, I'll be fine."

Rays manager Kevin Cash kind of said yeah, but …, acknowledging the Indians' speed but pointing out that starter Chris Archer does a good job of keeping them close.

"They got good jumps, but that's something that we have to continually get better at," Cash said. "He has to get better at making quality throws, and our pitchers have to continue putting emphasis on holding runners, which I felt Arch did."

Conger had no dispute — "Obviously that's my fault"— with the call at second, a somewhat unfortunate and frustrating byproduct of enhanced replay as the review crew has no choice but to call out a runner even if his break in contact with the base is momentary and circumstantial.

"It really doesn't matter what I think," Cash said. "The rules are the rules. He came off the bag. We had it happen to us last year. It doesn't matter. He was out."

THE ARCH WAY: Archer seemed most disappointed with lasting only 51/3 innings, saying "all my stuff was better" than in the first two starts despite what he called "an average or mediocre" result, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits and three walks, with six strikeouts.

"I walked more people, but I felt I was in control of the baseball a lot more," he said. "The changeup was good; I gave up a couple hits on some good pitches. I could move my fastball around. I had a pretty good slider, (though) not the elite-elite like I know it can be."

Archer presented Cash with a tough decision, battling his way through five stressful innings, with runners on base in each, while throwing 97 pitches, trailing 1-0. Cash, acknowledging later it "could have gone either way," left Archer in. That didn't work out well, as he allowed a single to Jose Ramirez to open the sixth, then threw a bad slider that Marlon Byrd launched for a two-run homer.

HONORED TO HONOR: Archer, who is biracial, considers it an honor to participate in the annual tribute to Jackie Robinson, as the Rays and all other teams will wear Robinson's No. 42 for tonight's games.

"Wearing No. 42 and playing, I don't think it gets any more special, especially for me, just knowing not only what he did in baseball, but what he did for the civil rights movement as a whole," Archer said.

"The impact that he had on baseball is ever lasting. He changed this game. It's not only America's pastime now, it's a worldly or universal pastime, because he opened up the doors for people of all races and all colors to play. … There's such an influx of cultures and ethnicities now and it's all due to him."

MISCELLANY: CF Kevin Kiermaier is 0-for-his-last-18, one shy of his career worst. . … Right-handed hitting INF Steve Pearce will be happy just to be in the lineup tonight, but has the added incentive of battling fellow Lakeland High product LHP Chris Sale, the White Sox starter. … INF Tim Beckham and OF Brandon Guyer are also expected to see plenty of weekend action as the Rays face three lefty starters after only one in their first nine games. … The five stolen bases were the most allowed by the Rays since Sept. 19, 2013 vs. Texas. … Indians starter Danny Salazar went to the bullpen to throw during their three-run sixth inning. … Former Rays C Toby Hall will be reading to kids this morning at the Great Explorations Children's Museum.

Five steals part of bad game for Rays catcher Conger 04/14/16 [Last modified: Thursday, April 14, 2016 10:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Crosstown rivals Bloomingdale-Newsome kick off season

    Footballpreps

    LITHIA — In a week filled with area football rivalries, there is a game on the east side of Hillsborough County — Bloomingdale vs. Newsome — that has matured into a classic crosstown battle, complete with classic cliches.

    Bloomingdale wide receiver Ed Amos charges through a drill a few days before the big rivalry game against Newsome on Friday night.
  2. Bucs Cannon Fodder podcast: Several key players still sidelined

    Bucs

    Greg Auman gives an injury update, with several key players still sidelined from practice three days before the Bucs play the Cleveland Browns in Tampa, and a full recap of your favorite scenes from Tuesday …

    Bucs wide receiver Mike Evans was held out of practice Wednesday at One Buc Place. [CHARLIE KAIJO | Times]
  3. Playoff ambitions evident in opener for Zephyrhills, Wiregrass Ranch

    Footballpreps

    WESLEY CHAPEL — A new football season in Pasco County begins Friday night, but this one promises to be like none before it — with more math than ever. A new playoff system emphasizes schedule strength, making non-district tilts particularly important.

    Wiregrass Ranch wide receiver Jordan Miner catches a pass in spring practice at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel on Monday, May 1, 2017.
  4. Dirk Koetter says Bucs used team meeting to discuss social issues

    Bucs

    Four days before their preseason home opener against the Cleveland Browns, which had 12 players not stand for the national anthem prior to their last game, the Bucs used their team meeting to discuss social issues that might have led to that demonstration, coach Dirk Koetter said.

    "The main thing is we have to respect everybody's opinion," Dirk Koetter said, "because everybody is not going to agree." [AP photo]
  5. Rookie tight end Antony Auclair making case to stick with Bucs

    Bucs

    Don't let his modest preseason stats fool you: Antony Auclair, the undrafted rookie tight end from Canada is making a strong case to stick around on the Bucs' 53-man roster this season.

    Bucs tight end Antony Auclair (82) collides with a defender following a catch during training camp. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]