Thursday, December 14, 2017
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays reliever Geltz gives up critical homer for second time in three games

SEATTLE — For the second time in three days, RHP Steve Geltz stood in front of his locker near the back of the clubhouse and talked about the homer he gave up that cost his Rays a game.

Monday it was a three-run homer to Ketel Marte in the sixth that proved the difference in the 5-2 defeat. Wednesday's was worse, a walkoff blast by Chris Iannetta in the 11th that left them slapped with a 6-5 loss in a game they battled back twice to tie.

"Giving up a walkoff homer never feels good, and losing never feels good," Geltz said. "But it hurts a little bit more especially when we battle like that and I go in and cost (us) the game."

The Rays had done so much to get to that point after RHP Chris Archer put them in a 3-0 first-inning hole that grew to 4-0.

In the sixth, after a double by still-hot Brandon Guyer (.345 average) and two walks, Corey Dickerson delivered the Rays' first grand slam of the season and the first of his big-league career. "Pretty cool to get the first one," he said.

After the Mariners went ahead following a rare misstep by RHP Erasmo Ramirez, CF Kevin Kiermaier, who was hitless in his past 15 at-bats and 1-for-21 on the road trip, homered with one out in the ninth to tie it.

After RHP Alex Colome and LHP Enny Romero pitched well, Geltz came in to strike out the dangerous Dae-Ho Lee to end the 10th. But he started the 11th by going to a full count on Iannetta, and the next fastball ended it.

"Just a bad pitch, bad location," Geltz said. "I've just got to execute better."

DOUBLE-DIPPING: Like the Rays, the Orioles players also preferred a traditional doubleheader rather than the split-admission all-day affair that was scheduled for June 25 to make up the April 9 postponement.

But, according to the Baltimore Sun's Eduardo Encina, the Orioles agreed to the split DH after meeting with team ownership, which explained the value of having two gates in the summer given lagging attendance early in the season, due in part to bad weather.

"You can sometimes get the perception of ownership which is inaccurate, so when you sit down and meet face-to-face with them, it's good," player rep Darren O'Day told the Sun. "They explained to us how it helped us. We like to think that we're reasonable, but I think that it worked out for everybody."

PITCHING IN: The Rays made it official that RHP Matt Andriese will keep his place in the rotation and start Saturday against Oakland, with RHP Jake Odorizzi pitching Friday's opener and LHP Matt Moore the finale of the brief three-game homestand. Manager Kevin Cash said they are looking to roll with a five-man rotation for now, as starting tonight they play 26 of the next 27 days.

LOGAN'S RUN: 2B Logan Forsythe was "much better" Wednesday and available for late-game duty and is planning to return to the lineup Friday. Forsythe has been sidelined with a bruised left shoulder since being hit by a pitch and leaving Monday's game.

ABOUT TUESDAY NIGHT: The Rays were playing from behind from the start in the 6-4 loss, as LHP Drew Smyly allowed four straight hits and three runs in the opening inning. Then after the Rays got back to 3-2 on a pair of homers by Steve Pearce, Smyly allowed a three-run homer to Lee.

MISCELLANY: LF Desmond Jennings, in a 1-for-35 slump, was out of the lineup for the fourth time on the six-game trip. … Guyer was hit by a pitch for the majors-leading 11th time. … RHP Brad Boxberger today advances to the next stage of his recovery from March 17 core muscle repair surgery, throwing an inning in an extended spring training game in Port Charlotte. … Triple-A Durham OF Mikie Mahtook, sidelined since April 19 due to an oblique issue, is on track to rejoin the Bulls this weekend.

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