Make us your home page
Instagram

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 offense goes to sleep in loss to Rangers

Rays starter Edwin Jackson waits for a new ball as Ian Kinsler rounds the bases after his leadoff home run in the first. It was the only run Jackson allowed in six impressive innings.

Associated Press

Rays starter Edwin Jackson waits for a new ball as Ian Kinsler rounds the bases after his leadoff home run in the first. It was the only run Jackson allowed in six impressive innings.

ARLINGTON, Texas — These are the kind of games the Rays aren't supposed to lose.

Not when their starter allows one run — on his first pitch — in a solid six innings.

Not when the opposing starter comes in with numbers they should have been drooling over.

And not when facing a struggling team such as the Rangers (or the A's before them, or the Mariners, or the Indians), given the degree of difficulty of their remaining schedule.

But that's exactly what happened Saturday in a frustrating 3-0 defeat.

"Any loss is tough right now," Rays starter Edwin Jackson said.

And if the circumstances weren't bad enough, they got an up-close-and-personal reminder of the mistake they made in letting Josh Hamilton go. Hamilton, having a remarkable Rangers debut season, made the game's biggest play, a leaping catch at the centerfield wall to rob Ben Zobrist of a tying home run in the sixth inning.

"It kept going and he kept going to the wall and I got a little bit excited, but that got quickly taken away," Zobrist said. "It was a great catch, fantastic. He made it look so easy."

Said Hamilton: "It just all fell together."

The only good news was that Boston also lost, so the Rays (74-48) maintained their 3½-game lead in the American League East going into tonight's finale of their seasonlong 10-game road trip.

Jackson pitched well again — "real good, and he totally gave us a chance to win," manager Joe Maddon said. Ian Kinsler knocked his first pitch over the fence, but he didn't allow much else: five hits total, one run, 101 pitches and a loss.

"First pitch of the game, it's just luck of the draw," Jackson said. "Sometimes hitters ambush (and look for a fastball), sometimes they don't."

The Rays couldn't do much of anything against Rangers starter Matt Harrison, a 22-year-old who was making his eighth career start, who had a 7.07 ERA, who had allowed 46 hits and 19 walks in 352/3 innings of work, who had struck out only seven of his first 168 batters.

And who is left-handed.

Lefties have been a problem for the Rays — they're 20-18 vs. lefties, 54-30 vs. righties — and it was the case again. Having centerfielder B.J. Upton, one of their regular right-handers, sitting out as punishment for not running out a ground ball didn't help, either.

The Rays said Harrison mixed his pitches, was aggressive and pounded the strike zone often, and they couldn't do much about it. They managed only three hits in his eight innings, struck out eight times and made 18 outs in a row after Jason Bartlett singled to open the third. They showed more life cheering on Michael Phelps in the clubhouse afterward.

"There's been several times this year we've faced guys that have really been not doing that well or kind of new to the league, and we just haven't necessarily walked out and pounded these people," Maddon said.

"So I really don't look at that that way anymore. We're in first place, and the teams that are playing against us are turning their dial up a bit."

It's only going to get higher.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.

Rangers 3

Rays 0

Rays offense goes to sleep in loss to Rangers 08/16/08 [Last modified: Sunday, August 17, 2008 9:34pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  2. Rays journal: Steven Souza Jr. gets extra day off to let hip heal

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RF Steven Souza Jr. ran in rightfield before batting practice under the watchful gaze of the Rays training staff and manager Kevin Cash. Afterward, Souza told Cash he could use one more day of rest before playing on the left hip he strained Wednesday in Oakland.

    Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller (13) gets a hug from right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) after his solo home run in the fourth inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, July 21, 2017.
  3. Rays vs. Rangers, 7:10 p.m. Saturday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Rangers

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: FS1; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

  4. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    Looks like LF Corey Dickerson is coming out of his funk at the plate — .186 average in past 16 games entering Friday. He had two hits Wednesday in Oakland and three hits Friday against the Rangers. Okay, one was an infield hit that bounced high in front of the plate, but the other was a long home run to …

  5. History shows Ole Miss upheaval tough to overcome

    College

    After Mississippi football coach Hugh Freeze resigned Thursday, with the opener six weeks away, offensive line coach Matt Luke is being thrown into an interim head coaching position. He will try to save a season that already had been scarred by a self-imposed bowl ban for NCAA violations.

    After coach Jim Tressel resigned, Ohio State went 6-7, including a loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl, in 2011.