Sunday, February 25, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Two throws from right biggest difference in Rays' loss

ST. PETERSBURG — Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Red Sox arguably came down to two throws from rightfield to third base:

• The Rays' Steven Souza Jr. made an ill-advised and errant one in the third, allowing David Ortiz to score the decisive run after going first to third on a bouncing single.

"Playing it in my head as the play was going, I knew the ball wasn't hit very hard but I knew David Ortiz wasn't a very good runner, and I thought I could sneak one in there. It was a bad throw. It wasn't near the base. … It ended up costing us a big run right there. It could be 1-1."

Manager Kevin Cash said "it didn't appear there was a play there" and Souza would have been better off throwing it in to keep the runners on the corners.

• The Red Sox's Mookie Betts made a perfect one in the eighth to nail Kevin Kiermaier trying to stretch a one-out double that would have put the Rays in good position to tie.

"I thought I had a triple the whole way, and I was kind of in shock over there how I got thrown out," Kiermaier said. "I know Mookie throws okay. … I want to put the pressure on the defense, and it's going to take a perfect throw to throw me out. And in this moment, he made an absolutely perfect throw. I would not change anything, I'd do it again. Tip my hat to him, that was pretty unbelievable."

Cash said they trust Kiermaier on the bases, so it's hard to fault him, but in retrospect it would have been better had he stayed at second with Evan Longoria and Brad Miller coming up.

BECK OUT: SS Tim Beckham, who was picked off in the fourth, left after seven innings due to left hamstring tightness but said it was precautionary. … SS Matt Duffy was not in the lineup as the Rays want to limit him to four or five straight games due to his previous left Achilles strain.

REHAB REPORT: The Rays will decide shortly whether to have RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery) make one more rehab start before rejoining the rotation. With Cobb needing 81 pitches to get through four innings for Triple-A Durham on Monday, allowing five runs on nine hits with no strikeouts, that may make more sense than having him pitch next against the Astros. The 30th and final day of Cobb's reassignment is Saturday.

INF Nick Franklin, on the seven-day concussion DL, did some light work and said he felt good "for the most part. I didn't feel anything prohibiting me."

CATCHING ON: Red Sox rookie OF Andrew Benintendi had a little help in making Monday's amazing catch in leaping over the short leftfield wall to rob Souza of a two-run homer with no outs in the eighth of a 3-0 game.

As he went over the wall, Benintendi braced himself on a serving table pushed up against the back side of the fence. That appeared to keep him from tumbling over the fence, which was cut from 9 feet to 5 for the 2007 season, ostensibly so Rays, and future Red Sox, LF Carl Crawford could make more exciting catches.

Under MLB rules, had he gone all the way over, the catch would have counted but the ball would have been dead and Beckham, the runner on first, would have been moved up a base. Instead Beckham went back to first and the Rays didn't score en route to the 6-2 loss. "Hopefully," Cash said, "we move the table."

MAGIC BUS RIDE: What was already going to be a seven-hour trip for Class A Bowling Green after a Sunday doubleheader at home got worse when the Hot Rods' bus broke down about 30 miles from their hotel in Eastlake, Ohio, around 4:15 a.m.

With the engine alarm blaring, the players and staff were stranded for three hours, some opting to stand outside in the rain due to the noise, until another bus could pick them up around 7:15. After moving all the equipment, they got to their hotel around 8 a.m. — and played Monday night at 7, winning 4-1. And they played and swept a Tuesday doubleheader .

MISCELLANY: OF Oswaldo Arcia, DFA'd last week, was claimed off waivers by Miami.

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