ARLINGTON, Texas — Rallying after blowing a ninth-inning lead to beat the AL-best Rangers 6-4 in 10 innings put a good finish on the Rays' miserable season Sunday, but even in doing so they fittingly lost, dropping from second to fourth in the 2017 draft order.
The details did little to change the bottom line, which was a 68-94 record — worst since the dark (green) Devil Rays days of 2007, when they were 66-96 — that manager Kevin Cash said illustrated the need for significant improvement.
"We've got to get better," Cash said. "We've got a lot of stuff that we've got to do to get better.
"We like the guys that we have that are penciled in to come back and be a part of this, but we've got to find some guys that can come in and add to it. And our younger players have got to continue to mature and develop on the field, and we saw that from some guys."
OVERTIME: In the last game of the entire MLB regular season to finish, the Rays saw RHP Alex Colome allow three straight hits to blow a one-run lead in the ninth but then responded with two runs in the 10th. Richie Shaffer singled and Alexei Ramirez doubled for his fourth hit, then Shaffer scored on a wild pitch and Ramirez on a double by Curt Casali.
RHP Chase Whitley worked four solid innings in his first start since returning from Tommy John surgery. RHP Brad Boxberger walked four of six batters to give up a run in the eighth. After Colome blew just his third save in 40 chances, RHP Erasmo Ramirez worked the 10th.
GOING LONGO: 3B Evan Longoria fell two RBIs short of 100 but said he felt good about a stellar season in which he set several career highs, including 36 homers. "I felt like I gave everything I had," Longoria said. "Ninety-eight and 100, it seems like a big difference, but I'm pretty happy where I ended up. I can hang my hat and be proud."
Longoria, as promised, revealed that the number he wrote down in spring training as his goal for homers was 35, two more than his previous high. "Beat it by one," he said, "so maybe next year I've got to write 40."
FEELING A DRAFT: Had the Rays lost, they would have had the second-worst record behind the Twins and thus the second pick in the draft. Instead they were part of a three-way tie at 68-94 with the Padres and Reds that was broken by 2015 record, and since the Rays had the best, they pick fourth.
MISCELLANY: With six doubles, the Rays set a team record with 536 extra-base hits, including a franchise-best 216 homers. … CF Kevin Kiermaier sat out as a result of tightness in the left calf that was hit by a pitch Saturday. … The Rays won for the first time in 12 games with OF Jaff Decker in the starting lineup. … Three Rays will be free agents: RHP Kevin Jepsen, 1B Logan Morrison and Ramirez.