Friday, February 23, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays lose again, drop three of four to White Sox

CHICAGO — The rain couldn't get to the south side of Chicago quickly enough for the Rays Monday night.

Playing a game that seemed in jeopardy much of the day based on ominous forecasts, the Rays would have been much better off with the expected postponement and inconveniences of a return trip rather than the 7-3 loss to the White Sox they ended up with.

"Retrospectively …" manager Joe Maddon said. "But I don't know if we'd come back two months from now on a day off, that it would have made any difference. Who knows? Play it, move it along, don't cry about it. Just play it. We'll be fine."

For now, it was the Rays' third loss of the long weekend in Chicago, fifth in six games and 15th of 26 overall as they headed to Boston tucked safely into last place in the American League East.

"Going into Boston and New York, obviously we've got to turn it around a little bit. We've got to play better baseball," outfielder Matt Joyce said. "Obviously everybody is trying, everybody is working their butts off trying to win, everybody wants to win. But sometimes that's the way it goes."

That seemed to be the prevailing attitude in the clubhouse, that things aren't as bad as they seem.

Starter Jake Odorizzi felt that way after delivering another disappointing performance, failing to get past five innings for the fourth straight start and twice during his 41/3 innings giving back leads.

"I feel like I was better overall than the last three outings with stuff, so that was the bright spot I'm taking out of it," he said.

His execution of pitches wasn't very good, though, especially with the hybrid splitter-changeup he learned from Alex Cobb and has come to favor too much, leaving several up over the plate that the Sox mashed.

"His stuff wasn't awful, but it was just about the execution of the pitches that wasn't very good," Maddon said.

Odorizzi's outing marked the 10th time in 14 games a Rays starter didn't last more than five innings, and it gave them a 6.56 ERA during that span.

The game started on time but with the expectation that heavy rains might cut it short, though there wasn't any appreciable precipitation until the bottom of the seventh, and nothing too heavy until after the game.

The Rays played it in sort of a hurry-up mode.

That worked well as they came out aggressively, Ben Zobrist doubling on the first pitch, Desmond Jennings dropping a bunt that Sox starter Andre Rienzo misplayed into a run, then Jennings tagging up from second when centerfielder Adam Eaton crashed into the wall then to the ground after corralling Joyce's drive.

But Odorizzi, after a sharp 1-2-3 first, gave up a leadoff single and a home run to Alejandro De Aza in the second. After the Rays took the lead again in the fourth, getting a hit from Wil Myers who was in a 5-for-41 skid, Odorizzi gave it up again, with a leadoff walk, a run-scoring triple then an RBI double.

Maddon summoned Jake McGee to replace Odorizzi in the fifth. But McGee, in an unusual role, had unexpected results, allowing two more runs in the sixth that made a big difference.

"We haven't been playing badly," Maddon said. "There's going to be a point where we win five out of six and even more than that. I don't want the guys to get down on themselves. It's just how it's going right now."

Comments
Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

Impact of Tommy John surgery cuts deeply for Brent Honeywell, Rays

PORT CHARLOTTE – Two things that tell you a lot about Rays cocksure top prospect Brent Honeywell given Friday's crushing news that he indeed tore a ligament in his prized right arm and is headed for Tommy John surgery that will sideline him wel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

Rays open exhibition season with 6-3 win over Pirates

The Rays won the home game of their opening-day, split-squad set, beating the Pirates, 6-3.1B Brad Miller, with an opposite-field double off the wall, and CF Kevin Kiermaier, with a bloop single to shallow center, provided the early offense.2B Daniel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

Rays journal: Miller time could be a good time, and more from openers

PORT CHARLOTTE — One of the key story lines in Rays camp is seeing what kind of bounce-back season they can get out of a healthy Brad Miller, coming off October core muscle repair surgery.And while Miller isn't feeling 100 percent — he st...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Split-squad Rays hold on for 6-3 win at Orioles

Split-squad Rays hold on for 6-3 win at Orioles

SARASOTA — A split-squad team of Rays held on for a 6-3 victory Friday against the Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium.Yonny Chirinos, making his debut as a Ray, tossed a pair of scoreless innings. He allowed an infield single to former Ray Tim Beckham...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

Live blog: Rays open spring training season against Pirates, Orioles

The Rays open the exhibition season with not one, but two games today.Non-roster pitcher Vidal Nuno will start against the Pirates at 1:05 p.m. in Port Charlotte. Denard Span, Matt Duffy, Kevin Kiermaier, Wilson Ramos, Mallex Smith and Adeiny Hechava...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

Rays’ Honeywell has torn UCL, headed for Tommy John surgery

The Rays got the worst-case news they were dreading, that top prospect RHP Brent Honeywell has a torn UCL and is headed for Tommy John  surgery.Honeywell said he plans to have the surgery as soon as possible to expedite his return sometime in th...
Updated: 9 hours ago
For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

For starters: Split squad opener for Rays – vs. Pirates and at Orioles, 1:05

With 15 teams training in Florida,  there usually has to be either be at least one team off or one team playing two games. And with today the official opening day of spring training, the Rays had the bad draw of having to play split squad games....
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Rays spring training info: Friday – vs. Pirates and at Orioles

Friday's games:Vs. Pirates1:05, Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Road, Port Charlotte. Pitchers: Rays – LH Vidal Nuno; Pirates – RH Taylor Eppler.Radio: raysbaseball.com, MLB At Bat app (free with mlb.com account)Tickets: raysbasebal...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays holding their breath

Rays top pitching prospect Brent Honeywell left practice Thursday after throwing a handful of pitches, and the fear (now confirmed) is he might need Tommy John surgery, ending his season before it begins.In his lastest podcast, Rick Stroud has the la...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

Brent Honeywell injury could be worst Rays news yet

PORT CHARLOTTE — It might have seemed that things couldn't get worse for the Rays after an opening week of spring training that included the dumping of two veterans to harshly negative reviews, including from their own players; to the trade of ...
Published: 02/22/18
Updated: 02/23/18