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 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 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

  1. U.S. repeats as Solheim Cup champion


    WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Lexi Thompson set the tone by rallying from four holes down. The rest of the Americans took it from there and restored their dominance in the Solheim Cup

    Lexi Thompson, left, comes back from four holes down to halve the day’s first singles match with Europe’s Anna Nordqvist to set the tone for the United States.
  2. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.
  3. Bucs journal: Demar Dotson (mild groin strain) expected back for opener


    TAMPA — The Bucs got good news Sunday on starting right tackle Demar Dotson, whose MRI exam showed only a mild right groin sprain and who should be back at practice next week.

    Tackle Demar Dotson has only a mild groin strain.
  4. Bucs counting on better health creating better pass rush


    TAMPA — Ask Bucs coaches about the improved depth and health of their defensive line, and they'll look around for a piece of wood to knock on.

    Retired All-Pro defensive end  Simeon Rice, right, the last Buc to have double-digit sacks in a season,  works with defensive end Ryan Russell, who last season was promoted from the practice squad for the second half of the year as injuries piled up. He is competing for a backup job this year.
  5. Rays journal: Jake Faria heads to DL with left abdominal strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jacob Faria made the trek he didn't want to take after his last start. It was to the trainer's room. The pain in his left abdominal went from nagging to an issue during his start that night in Toronto.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jacob Faria (34) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Friday, August 4, 2017.