Friday, September 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Rays blow early opportunities, lose to Brewers (w/video)

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays had their chances Friday night. Lots of them.

They had a pitcher making his big-league debut on the ropes in the first and second innings. And the third. They let him escape each time.

"We couldn't get that big hit, for whatever reason," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

After three consecutive nights in Houston, where the Rays did nothing but get big hits, the offense came up flat against the Brewers in a 2-0 loss that began a crucial nine-game homestand.

Fortunately for the Rays, they remained a half-game back of the Royals for the AL's second wild card since Kansas City also lost.

Tampa Bay's charter flight home from Houston did not land until 4 a.m., and given that the Rays won three emotional games against the team with the AL's best record, a letdown would've been understandable.

"Not at all," Cash said. "Their guy threw a good ball game. We just went quiet. He made pitches, we didn't get big hits. We had the pressure on him. He made the pitches, that's the way it goes sometimes. I don't think anything can let us down from the three good games we played in Houston, and we'll pick it back up" tonight.

Their guy was right-hander Brandon Woodruff, who entered having gone 1-5 with a 6.69 ERA in his past 10 starts at Triple A. He pitched into the seventh and allowed seven hits, but none that hurt.

"Their guy, he was impressive," Cash said.

The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the first, but Brad Miller ended the threat when he bounced back to the mound.

The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the second, but Evan Longoria grounded into a forceout.

The Rays had runners on the corners with no outs in the third when Logan Morrison singled and Steven Souza Jr.'s grounder to third resulted in a throwing error.

But Miller struck out, Wilson Ramos flied out to shallow center and Souza, hoping to steal second, got himself in a rundown and was tagged out before Morrison could score.

"(Brewers catcher Manny Piña) pump-faked then threw to second base, which is something you hardly ever see," Souza said. "I wasn't going 100 percent. The rundown didn't work out in our favor."

The Rays (57-54) were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base before 21,164 at Tropicana Field.

Wasted was a solid start by Jacob Faria, who allowed one run in six innings. That came on a leadoff triple to left-center by Orlando Arcia in the third and a single to right by Eric Thames.

"The only run (Faria) gave up was, in theory, if (centerfielder Mallex Smith) hit the cutoff man, we got a play at third base where that guy might be out," Cash said. "But that's the way it goes."

The Rays had a chance to tie it at 1 in the seventh when Corey Dickerson tried to score from first on Longoria's double down the leftfield line. But Dickerson was thrown out at the plate after Arcia made a strong relay throw.

Cash said it was the right call by third-base coach Charlie Montoyo to send Dickerson.

"I thought it was dead-on the right call. In that situation, that late in the ball game," Cash said. "Force the issue a little bit. It took a perfect bounce off the wall to the leftfielder. He made a perfect throw to the shortstop.

"You got to challenge it. A lot of things have to go right, and credit them, it did. A no-brainer. I fully support that send. I even high-fived (Montoyo) afterward."

     
                                                     
Comments
How do you really feel, Carlos Gomez?

How do you really feel, Carlos Gomez?

Rays veteran OF Carlos Gomez made his feelings about being ejected from Thursday's game by home plate umpire Andy Fletcher quite clear in a series of Twitter posts and a live video.Gomez was in the dugout complaining about being called out on strikes...
Updated: 11 hours ago
How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

How to kill playoff chances? Rays blow six-run lead in 9th, lose 9-8 to Jays

TORONTO — The Rays had done so much right in making their entertaining, exciting and endearing September run to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot.But it was what they couldn't do Thursday night, get the final three outs ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Thursday’s Rays-Blue Jays game

As if the Rays haven't been innovative enough — with relievers starting and starters relieving, with pitchers playing infield spots and infielders playing the outfield — Thursday they unveiled a four-man outfield.Thursday was another exam...
Published: 09/20/18
Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

Rays journal: Austin Meadows gets called up, but there’s nowhere to put him

TORONTO — After taking his first look at OF Austin Meadows in Rays colors, manager Kevin Cash said the promising prospect is a "huge part" of their future. But he also acknowledged that they might not get much of a look at that future over the ...
Published: 09/20/18
For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, looking to keep rolling

For starters: Rays at Blue Jays, looking to keep rolling

UPDATE, 6:36: Cash said Meadows is "a huge part" of the future and the Rays want to get a look at what he can do, but he may not get much opportunity and Cash feels Kiermaier, Pham and Smith deserve to keep playing. … RHP Yonny Chirinos is slat...
Published: 09/20/18
Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

Are these guys threatening to turn AL wild card into a race? Just ask the Rays

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays still have got a long way to go and a short time to get there if they're gonna do what they say can't be done.If the Smokey and the Bandit paraphrase doesn't work for you, then let's try another theatrical reference....
Published: 09/19/18
Updated: 09/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Rangers game

OF Tommy Pham is playing with a sore groin and a sorer right ring finger, but he is determined, in his words, to "salvage" his season, and his two home runs Wednesday give him 19 total, five in 28 games with the Rays since the trade to go with a .327...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

Rays journal: Austin Meadows among final wave of callups

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays will get their first look at OF Austin Meadows when he joins them Thursday in Toronto as part of the final wave of callups.And based on what RHP Tyler Glasnow, a former Pirates and now Rays teammate, said, they're go...
Published: 09/19/18
Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Oh, baby! It’s Rays rookie dress up day

Today was rookie dress-up day for the Rays, a long-standing, and recently by rule toned down, tradition among teams to embarrass their first-timers.Masterminded by veteran reliever Sergio Romo the Rays went with a fitting theme for the rookie-laden t...
Published: 09/19/18
Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

Rays keep pressure on, beat Rangers 9-3 for fifth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas – The Rays still have a long way to go, and they are going to need a lot of help to get there.But they continue to do their part to try to make it a race for the final American League playoff spot, beating the Rangers 9-3 Wedne...
Published: 09/19/18