Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays take to the road after loss to Rangers

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon predicted Sunday's game would be a "marquee matchup" on the mound, and it certainly was.

Rays right-hander Alex Cobb matched Rangers ace Yu Darvish, each throwing seven scoreless innings. Cobb cruised, allowing just three hits. Darvish battled out of jams.

"Both guys were outstanding," Maddon said.

But Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus snapped the stalemate with two outs in the eighth, belting a two-run homer off setup man Joel Peralta to hand the Rays a 3-0 loss in front of 22,569 at Tropicana Field.

Peralta said he wanted to throw the full-count fastball down, but it was up and in, eventually landing 376 feet away in the leftfield seats.

"You make a mistake, you pay for it," he said.

Peralta's first mistake might have come the batter before. The former infielder instinctively leaped to reach for a Shin-Soo Choo chopper up the middle. Peralta slowed it down enough that shortstop Yunel Escobar couldn't make the play.

"Just reaction," Peralta said. "If I would have let it go, (Escobar) probably would have made that out easy."

But Peralta wasn't entirely to blame for this loss. Tampa Bay went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position in getting shut out for the second time in its first seven games. But as the Rays headed to Kansas City to start a nine-game, 10-day road trip tonight, they said they feel good where they are (4-3) after seven games.

"I have nothing to complain about," Maddon said. "I love the way we're playing. If we keep playing like this, good things will happen."

Cobb was motivated after what he labeled a "pretty terrible" and "awful" season debut Tuesday (four runs over five innings in a loss to the Blue Jays). He bounced back in a big way Sunday with all three of his pitches working while clicking with catcher Ryan Hanigan. Problem was, Darvish gave him little margin for error.

"I was just going out there and realizing that I can't give up a run pretty much," Cobb said. "Unfortunately for us, (Darvish) was really on."

Darvish struck out four of the first eight hitters he faced, becoming the fastest pitcher ever to 500 strikeouts (401⅔ innings). But the Rays made him squirm, scattering seven hits and putting the leadoff batter on in four of seven innings. The Rays had runners on second and third with one out in the fifth, and a runner on second with no outs in the sixth and seventh. But Maddon said, "We just did not get the knock when we needed it.

Wil Myers went 0-for-4 and stranded four, and Matt Joyce went 0-for-4 and stranded five, including two in the eighth.

"Didn't get the job done," Myers said. "Just a tough day."

In the ninth, third baseman Evan Longoria made the Rays' first error of the season, leading to a run. Before Andrus' homer off Peralta, the bullpen had a 1.00 ERA. And the offense, which is 1-for-28 with runners in scoring position in the three losses, is 15-for-49 in the four wins.

"I like where we're at," Longoria said. "This is a nice little road trip to really tell us where we are."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Rays take to the road after loss to Rangers 04/06/14 [Last modified: Sunday, April 6, 2014 10:07pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Kentucky recruit, former Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox among top prospects for 2018 NBA Draft


    Less than 24 hours after the NBA Draft, analysts have already begun looking ahead to 2018.

    Tampa Catholic star Kevin Knox finishes a layup during the McDonald's All-American game in March at the United Center in Chicago. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  2. Illinois is recruiting a 10-year-old. Where will Lovie Smith be by the time the kid can sign?


    Today in ridiculous recruiting news, Lovie Smith's Illinois football team offered a scholarship to a 10-year-old.

  3. Rays series preview: Who are the Orioles?


    After an off day Thursday, the Rays remain at Tropicana Field for a three-game series against the AL East rival Orioles. Here's the information you need to know about Baltimore before the action kicks off.

    Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman, left, has posted the highest ERA of his career this season, while catcher Welington Castillo, center, has slumped recently.
  4. Harmeling first woman to receive lifetime honor at Sneaker Soiree in Tampa

    Human Interest

    TAMPA — For the last quarter-century, she has combined passion and meticulousness to keep the Gasparilla Distance Classic humming and evolving. Indefatigable and detailed, Susan Harmeling braces for every race-weekend contingency.

    Susan Harmeling gives a speech after accepting an award  during the annual Sneaker Soiree, at TPepin's Hospitality Centre, Thursday, June 22, 2017.
  5. Morning after off day: Rays ready for slumping O's


    The Rays will attempt tonight to do what so far has been impossible this season: climb four games above .500.

    The Rays expect Evan Longoria to be back in the lineup for tonight's game.