Make us your home page
Instagram

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 out by Tigers in fourth straight loss

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays need something to halt their latest skid that threatens to end any hopes of making September meaningful, much less making the playoffs. So maybe facing former ace David Price today somehow will turn out to be a good thing.

They can't do much worse, getting three-hit by Rick Porcello in a 6-0 loss to the Tigers on Wednesday night that was their fourth straight defeat, dropping them eight games back in the race — if you can still call it that — for the second American League wild card.

As little as the Rays (61-65) did offensively in being shut out for an AL-most 15th time — a double by Ben Zobrist in the first, singles in the eighth by James Loney and ninth by Desmond Jennings — the game was close into the seventh then, as has been the case often recently, turned quickly against them.

"You've heard me say this too many times this year, we've lost that kind of game too often," manager Joe Maddon said. "And we're running out of time to stop losing that kind of game."

Jake Odorizzi was having a solid outing himself, having allowed only a first-inning run aided by some sloppy defense, with rightfielder Kevin Kiermaier misplaying a ball off the side wall. Odorizzi had two strikeouts in the seventh and an 0-and-2 count on No. 9 hitter Rajai Davis, but he gave up a double then a soft run-scoring single.

"My stuff was really good today, some of the best I've had all year," Odorizzi said. "Tough luck today when it comes to giving up runs."

Things got worse in a hurry.

Rookie Kirby Yates, one of the young relievers whose "ascension" Maddon has noted, made a huge mistake after loading the bases on a single by Torii Hunter and a walk to Miguel Cabrera.

Yates tried to elevate a 1-and-2 fastball but didn't get it up enough, and Victor Martinez crushed it into the rightfield seats for a grand slam, sending the Tigers fans among the Trop crowd of 13,575 into full roar and many Rays supporters up the aisles.

Maddon called it a "youthful" mistake that Yates will overcome as he eventually learns to better process the moment, a polite way of saying he should have thrown a breaking ball to Martinez, now hitting .388 with eight homers and 25 RBIs in 36 games at the Trop.

But Yates insisted he had "all the confidence in the world" in the selection, philosophizing in a Yogi-esque way: "Hindsight is 50-50. It always is. It's about execution."

Porcello (14-8) has been among the AL's top pitchers, but the Rays had roughed him up July 6, scoring seven runs on 11 hits in 52/3 innings. Wednesday was vastly different as the Rays went down 20 straight between Zobrist's double and Loney's single. Maddon said Porcello was so in control it looked as if he was throwing a Wiffle ball in the back yard "and the ball's just doing all kinds of weird things."

So now the Rays are faced with avoiding a costly sweep against a familiar and challenging opponent in an alternate universe setting all agree will be weird.

"We'll see how it plays out," Maddon said. "I'm really eager to see it myself. … From David's perspective I'm sure he's going to be jacked up by all this, and I don't blame him. I'd root for him except that he's pitching against us."

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

Rays shut out by Tigers in fourth straight loss 08/20/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.