Make us your home page

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 shut down by Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas — If there is going to be any evening out for the egregious blown call that cost the Rays a chance to win Monday, payback was not immediate.

"It hasn't shown up yet," Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Tuesday's 6-1 loss to the Rangers. "It's on a slow train from Midland right now."

They were done in as much by a series of bloops, bleeders and slow rollers than anything more damaging or self-inflicted.

"Frustrating night," Maddon said. "We lost the battle of inches today. That's what I was thinking about in the dugout. … That happens sometimes."

Roberto Hernandez was the unfortunate victim, charged with six runs (five earned) after allowing eight hits, though only two or three that were well-struck. He said he was pleased with how he threw, but not the way things turned out.

"It was tough," Ben Zobrist said. "They didn't really crush the ball tonight. I thought Roberto threw pretty well, and to give up five runs or whatever he did on some of those hits they had I thought was a tough break, and didn't show how well I thought he pitched."

Combine that with another night of minimal offense and it was a bad outcome, the hitters shackled this time by Texas' Nick Tepesch, a 24-year-old making his big-league debut after spending last season at Double A. Without much of a scouting report, they got only two hits through the first seven innings off Tepesch and four total, and hit only four balls out of the infield.

"It was tough, we really couldn't watch any video. There wasn't much that we could see what he was doing," Zobrist said. "He probably had a lot more information on us than we had on him, and it worked out for him."

A week into the season, the Rays (3-5) haven't shown many signs of the improved offense they were expecting, averaging less than four runs a game.

Small samples can be unfair, but Tuesday's lineup included five players hitting .222 or lower, including shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was dropped from sixth to seventh and is down to .111.

"We just haven't been hitting the ball well as a group," Maddon said. "It's just one of those moments we've got to keep grinding it out. The hits will come back to us. The biggest thing I try to do is keep their confidence up."

Plus, the starting pitching hasn't been anywhere near the level they are used to and expect to be over the bulk of the season, the bullpen has had some bad moments and while the defense has been impressive, they have allowed way too many runs with two outs — 27 of 44.

After wasting their first chance when Tepesch walked the bases loaded in the second — extending their streak of futility to 0-for-10 with the sacks full — the Rays took a 1-0 lead in the third. But it didn't last, Hernandez making what may have been his biggest mistake, walking No. 9 hitter Leonys Martin after being ahead 0-and-2, leading to a two-run single by Lance Berkman at most 12 inches out of Zobrist's reach, a sign of how the night was going.

"I know it looks bad and it was not a good game for us in a sense,'' Maddon said. "But we did a lot of good things once again. … It's just so early in the year that you can't get concerned. ''

Matt Joyce grimaces after striking out in the first inning against Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, who pitches effectively into the eighth inning in his major-league debut.

Associated Press

Matt Joyce grimaces after striking out in the first inning against Rangers starter Nick Tepesch, who pitches effectively into the eighth inning in his major-league debut.

Rays shut down by Rangers 04/09/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 10, 2013 12:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official


    Here is the release from the team ...


  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. Scotty Bowman says 'it's about time' Andreychuk got HOF call


    For Hall of Fame coach Scotty Bowman, Dave Andreychuk finally being part of a Hall of Fame class is especially gratifying.

    Scotty Bowman drafted Dave Andreychuk in the first round (16th overall) in 1982 and coached him the first five seasons of his career.
  4. Dave Andreychuk going into Hall of Fame (w/photo gallery)


    Dave Andreychuk said Monday began "business as usual."

    Dave Andreychuk battles Calgary's Andrew Ference during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final.
  5. UPDATE: Rays finalizing deal to get SS Hechavarria for 2 minor-leaguers


    UPDATE, 4:27: In making the deal, the Rays add an elite-level defender to an infield that could use the help. But it also raises a number of questions, such as will they now move Tim Beckham to 2B? Does this mean Matt Duffy is not coming back this season? Is Daniel Robertson or Taylor Featherston going to …

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.