Monday, April 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays fall to nemesis Carrasco, Indians

ST. PETERSBURG — At least Logan Morrison got a hit. Brad Miller, too.

Otherwise, the Rays didn't have much to show for another frustrating, offensively challenged night, losing 4-1 to Carlos Carrasco and the Indians on Wednesday night.

Morrison and Miller were two of the five new players brought in to boost the Rays offense but so far have contributed little. Morrison, after his fourth-inning single, is 2-for-25. Miller, who singled in the eighth, is 2-for-23.

Manager Kevin Cash said there was no timeframe for when the Rays would contemplate changes, but it was definitely too early, and he liked how they have been looking at the plate recently.

"We haven't even discussed it," Cash said. "These guys are going to get going. We don't have a doubt in our mind. All these guys are going to contribute."

The Rays (3-5) needed more against Carrasco, who held them to only Morrison's single into the eighth, and just four hits and the one run overall.

"Really, really sharp," Cash said. "Wipeout off-speed pitches to go along with 97 (mph fastball) that he's locating is going to make it rough for any lineup."

Then again, they've seen this kind of performance from Carrasco before. Better, actually. On July 1, 2015, he held them hitless two outs into the ninth, striking out 13, before Joey Butler spoiled his no-hit bid.

Wednesday, before a Tropicana Field crowd of 10,117, Rays lefty Drew Smyly started just as good, matching Carrasco by retiring the first nine on his way to career high-matching 11 strikeouts.

But Smyly had some trouble in the fourth, and a questionable play behind him made it worse as the Indians took a 3-0 lead.

The Indians got one run on a soft double, a single and a fielder's choice grounder. A Mike Napoli double put Indians on second and third, which set up the key play.

Carlos Santana blooped a ball to shallow right that would have been an easy play for rightfielder Brandon Guyer. But he was positioned deep and wasn't sure he would be able to get there in time, so he didn't call for the ball.

Instead, second baseman Logan Forsythe ran it down and made the catch with his back to the plate, then spun and fired wildly high, allowing both runs to score.

"I was running really fast, out of control," Guyer said. "But it was one of those where maybe I should call it earlier and definitely catch it because it's a much easier throw for me."

Cash, though, didn't see it as much of an issue.

"First of all, if Logan makes the throw, gets the throw down, we're going to talk about that as one of the best plays of the year," Cash said. "We ask our outfielders to play a little deeper. Brandon was playing deep. He does everything, he got a good jump on the ball, he just couldn't quite get there. It's a tricky play, it's a communication play."

The Rays had a flicker of hope in the eighth when Miller singled off Carrasco, Kevin Kiermaier replaced him at first after a fielder's choice and Casali doubled in their run. Forsythe followed with a single, but Casali was thrown out at the plate, Cash challenging and the call upheld.

It was that kind of night.

 
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