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 start second half with familiar result: loss

ST. PETERSBURG — After skidding into the All-Star break losing 22 of 25 games, the Rays talked a lot over the previous few days about starting fresh, how getting better starting pitching, overall improved play and some key guys back from the disabled list would make a significant difference.

And for a while Friday night, it looked like they knew what they were talking about. Chris Archer gave them a solid start, the hitters cobbled an early lead and the Kevin Kiermaier-inspired defense was crisp.

But then anything new seemed old again.

A costly mistake pitch, a key play that didn't get made, wasted opportunities to score more runs, and a couple of debatable decisions by manager Kevin Cash all added up to another loss, this one 4-3 to the Orioles.

"Yea, there's some positives," said Archer after his majors-leading 13th loss. "But we lost the game. That's the main focus right now. We talked (Thursday) about coming out and getting a win, and we weren't able to do that."

You could posit the Rays earned their 55th loss at several junctures.

Most obviously, in the eighth, when the Orioles went ahead.

Archer had done well, escaping the first inning (where he had had a 9.95 ERA) unscathed and completing seven innings for just the third time in 20 starts, and at 102 pitches, with the score tied at 3.

Cash had a fresh bullpen, obviously, but said he felt Archer was "the best option" to face righty swingers Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado, then would go to lefty Xavier Cedeno for Chris Davis.

But Archer made a mistake on his second pitch with a sloppy slider, and Schop launched it into the leftfield seats. "I didn't execute a pitch," Archer said. "I left a cookie out there for a guy with a lot of power, and he made the most of it."

Or in the sixth, when the Rays lost the lead they had held since the first.

The Orioles had runners on the corners with one out for slow-footed catcher Matt Wieters, a lefty hitter. Archer got the ground ball he wanted, but shortstop Brad Miller was shifted toward the middle and had to go back to his right, and he and second baseman Logan Forsythe couldn't turn the double play. "I thought everybody did everything they could have done," Cash said.

Or in the first three innings, when the Rays posted a single run each time but left seven men on and could have knocked out O's starter Yovani Gallardo in building a bigger lead.

There was also some drama — and debate — in the ninth.

After Miller doubled with one out and moved to third on a wild pitch, O's manager Buck Showalter made the bold move of walking Evan Longoria, the winning run, so power-throwing lefty closer Zach Britton could face lefty Logan Morrison.

Cash had two right-handed hitters on the bench in Tim Beckham and Nick Franklin but stuck with Morrison, who fouled off an on-his-own bunt attempt and then struck out. "Confidence in LoMo there to come through," Cash said. Steven Souza Jr. then struck out to end it.

Before the game, baseball operations president Matt Silverman made a reasoned pitch for why things could be better.

"There's a lot of talent on this club, there's a lot of grit on this club and there's still confidence," he said. "Those are the ingredients that we need to have a successful second half. Put the first half behind us — it is what it is — and we need to forge a new path going forward."

For a while Friday, it at least sounded good.

Rays start second half with familiar result: loss 07/15/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 16, 2016 12:21am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Fennelly: Bucs' Roberto Aguayo has his backers, no matter how many kicks he misses

    Bucs

    He was perfect Friday, and not just because he didn't have to kick.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers kicker Roberto Aguayo (19) takes a photo with fans following the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  2. Rookie Kendell Beckwith pleased with first Bucs practice

    Bucs

    Bucs rookie linebacker Kendell Beckwith is eight months and a week removed from November surgery to repair a torn ACL, so there was a proud sense of accomplishment in getting himself healthy enough to be on the field for the opening practice of training camp Friday.

    Bucs inside linebacker Kendell Beckwith (51) defends tight end Cameron Brate (84) during the first day of training camp. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Criticism part of the game for Bucs' Gerald McCoy, who is chasing 'ghosts'

    Bucs

    Who crossed the line with their criticism of Gerald McCoy?

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive tackle Gerald McCoy jokes with teammates during the first day of training camp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Friday, July 28, 2017.
  4. 2-year-old girl shows football team how its done

    Sports

    ST. PETERSBURG — Football players may dread summer workouts, but not two-year-old Sophie Rosendale. She loves joining her father, St. Petersburg offensive line coach Mike Rosendale, three times a week for the Green Devils summer conditioning. Not only does she shout encouragement like her dad, she also straps on …

    Sophie Rosendale, 2, front, warms up with offensive lineman during practice at St. Petersburg High School, Wednesday. Rosendale is the daughter of offensive line coach Mike Rosendale. "She has been coming to practice for about one year," said Rosendale who has been a coach at the the school for 10 seasons. "She likes to show the players the proper techniques." [Photo/  Mike Rosendale]