Sunday, January 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays offense stalls again in loss to Orioles (w/ video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The word Saturday night after another Rays loss in what has become an endless summer of losses was "tomorrow."

Manager Kevin Cash used it in his postgame news conference. So did Matt Moore, who pitched more than well enough to win but didn't because the Rays offense had little to show for its effort against Orioles starter Chris Tillman and Baltimore's shutdown bullpen.

"Tomorrow we're going to have to come out and play and try to win the ball game," Moore said. "We can't do anything about what happened (Saturday)."

What happened was this: Orioles 2, Rays 1.

The losing streak for the Rays (34-56) is at eight. They have lost 12 of their past 13 games and 24 of 27.

That 3-24 stretch is the worst in franchise history and the worst by an American League club since the Tigers began the 2003 season 3-25.

The Orioles, in first place in the American League East, won the first two games of this three-game series/homestand. All-Star closer Zach Britton closed out both wins, which means the Rays are 0-50 this season when trailing after eight innings.

On Friday, the Rays left the tying run at third and the winning run at first in the ninth inning in a one-run loss. On Saturday, Britton set the Rays down in order in the ninth.

"The goal is to win," Cash said. "Obviously you're not going to win every night, and we're not winning much at all right now. We have had competitive games. We have been one swing away, one big inning away from turning this the other way. Hopefully that continues and we find that big hit tomorrow."

Positives?

Moore pitched a season-high 7⅓ innings. He had gone exactly seven five times. He allowed five hits and struck out only one because he pitched to contact against an aggressive lineup. Shortstop J.J. Hardy's two-run homer in the second accounted for the Orioles' runs.

"I tell you, Moore was as good as Tillman," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "That was two good pitchers at the top of their game. Fine margin of error."

Scouts from the Dodgers, Rangers, Red Sox, Pirates and Nationals on hand to see Moore pitch went away pleased.

Rookie reliever Dylan Floro had another strong outing, and newly acquired Kevin Jepsen got the Rays out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth.

But the Rays had nothing to talk about after the game except for tomorrow, which meant today, the day they will try to snap the losing streak and have an enjoyable plane ride to Colorado, where they begin a nine-game, 10-day West Coast road trip.

"There's a lot of parts on our team that go into this skid," Moore said. "It's easy to look at things that are going wrong and put your finger on them. We're trying."

     
                                                               
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