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 lose to Angels 4-3, thanks to key errors and poor clutch hitting

Joe Maddon restrains B.J. Upton after Upton was tossed by Mark Wegner for arguing strike calls in the ninth. Carl Crawford then grounded into a game-ending double play.


Joe Maddon restrains B.J. Upton after Upton was tossed by Mark Wegner for arguing strike calls in the ninth. Carl Crawford then grounded into a game-ending double play.

ST. PETERSBURG — Manager Joe Maddon has talked about how frustrating it has been at times that the Rays haven't been able to win those close games, the ones that often come down to a few key moments.

They won plenty of them in last year's World Series run.

But Tampa Bay's 4-3 loss to the Angels Tuesday night in front of 16,087 at Tropicana Field added to their early-season trend, with their last five defeats decided by two runs or less.

"We have to get beyond these conclusions where we lose the one-run game or the two-run game," Maddon said. "That part is frustrating, because the intent is really good, the work is good, the effort is good. We just have to something to make the play, make the pitch, whatever, on a more consistent basis. And we're going to."

This time, the Rays (29-31) got another strong start by right-hander James Shields, who gave up two earned runs in 61/3 innings but was hurt by a couple of errors.

And on a play that typified the night, Carlos Peña's sharp liner down the first-base line with the bases loaded in the seventh was snagged by Kendry Morales, turning a potential bases-clearing hit into an inning-ending double play.

And as a result, the Rays, who have lost three straight, are still six games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

"That's probably the only difference between this year and last year, at this same time, we got almost all the breaks last year we could possibly get, we were getting," Ben Zobrist said. "But that just hasn't happened this year for some reason. I think for the most part you make your own breaks, and I think we're putting ourselves in good position, and we're fighting until the last out of the game. It just hasn't fallen into place yet."

Shields battled through an outing where he didn't have his best stuff, giving the Rays a chance. He gave up two in the first in a rally started by an error on Peña, with a single and fielder's choice knocking in the runs.

"It's one of those things where you've got to pick your team up by keeping them in the game," Shields said.

The Rays struggled to get the key hit, stranding runners in scoring position in the second, fourth and fifth. It wasn't until the sixth that they broke through on right-hander Jered Weaver. Zobrist knocked in a run with a groundout (he later homered), and Matt Joyce, who is 0-for-15 since homering in back-to-back games, hit a sacrifice fly to make it 3-2. But they were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

"We were fortunate tonight," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We gave them a lot of baserunners."

The Angels added on in the seventh, thanks to an RBI double by Bobby Abreu.

The Rays' night ended in frustration, with B.J. Upton getting ejected in the ninth by home-plate umpire Mark Wegner and Carl Crawford grounding into a game-ending double play, his first of the season in 239 at-bats.

Said Maddon: "There were so many things that could have gone our way, that did not."

Joe Smith can be reached at

Angels 4

Rays 3

Rays lose to Angels 4-3, thanks to key errors and poor clutch hitting 06/09/09 [Last modified: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Want elite college football athletes? Recruit Tampa Bay


    Now that college football watch list season is over (I think), here's one takeaway you probably already knew: Tampa Bay produces a lot of great athletes.

    Robinson High produuct Byron Pringle has gone from this performance in a high school all-star game to all-Big 12 at Kansas State.
  2. 'Ready to win, and win big:' Dick Vitale sees Bucs going 10-6


    ESPN's Dick Vitale, whose love and optimism for Tampa Bay sports teams goes far beyond basketball, has high hopes for the Bucs in 2017.

    ESPN's Dick Vitale, shown at One Buc Place last year when he announced a Bucs draft pick, has high hopes for Tampa Bay this fall, predicting a 10-6 record for the Bucs.
  3. Rays beat Orioles, but tough stretch looms that could change their plans (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday was a step back in the right direction for the Rays, who halted a season-high five-game losing streak by hanging on — and we mean that pretty much literally — for a 5-4 win over the Orioles.

    The Rays’ Tim Beckham celebrates with Mallex Smith after hitting a three-run homer in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    Rookie RHP Jake Faria had his lucky rubber duck — OG, the original one he has had since high school — with him, and the Rays had nothing to worry about as he put his rocky Wednesday outing well behind him, working into the eighth while scattering seven hits.