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)

Sloppy Rays fall to Orioles

BALTIMORE — After his team lost another game 4-2 Tuesday and didn't look good in doing so, manager Joe Maddon insisted there was not much difference between his fourth-place, under-.500 Rays and the American League East-leading Orioles.

"They're so much ahead of us but you can see how close the two teams actually are in regard to ability and talent and everything else," Maddon said. "At this particular moment the teams are pretty evenly matched."

But as if the 12 games between them in standings don't provide enough telling opposition, the play in the first two games of what had looked to be an important series certainly did.

"I felt facing this Orioles team and seeing the way things are going for them almost the way I felt when I was facing the Red Sox last year,'' Rays starter Alex Cobb said. "The quality of at-bats one through nine and making situations into their favor and not sitting back and letting things happen. They're going out and making things happen, they're not waiting for it to happen.

"You can look at it both ways. Maybe we aren't on the top of our game right now but they're definitely the aggressors right now in making things happen.

"There might be a little bit of a gap right there. And there is a gap in the standings also.''

Consider on Tuesday, as the Rays dropped to 64-68, just how they did themselves in.

On the bases, where they had three runners thrown out at the plate, including Desmond Jennings in the first inning, as the back end of a third-to-first-to-home double play, which also stood up after a replay challenge.

In the field, where two of several misplays factored heavily into the outcome.

In the fourth, with two on and two out, Jennings got a bad break on a sinking liner by Caleb Joseph and attempted — and failed — on an awkward sliding, diving, falling-down catch that was ugly by any description, putting the Orioles up 2-1.

"He didn't catch it," Maddon said. "Could he have caught it? It looked like he may have been able to catch it. I couldn't tell."

Then in the sixth, when they failed to turn an inning-ending double play, the Orioles followed with two singles and the go-ahead run off Grant Balfour. The throw from shortstop Yunel Escobar appeared wide of first, but Maddon laid the blame on Balfour, saying he broke late off the mound.

"You can talk about this and that and what ensued,'' Maddon said, "but if he covers first the inning is over and none of that other stuff happens.''

At the plate, where the Rays went 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left nine on. Most painfully in the sixth, with the scored tied 2-2, when they had the bases loaded with one out and got nothing. Jennings hit a slow roller to third for a force out at the plate, then Ben Zobrist flied out.

"It's the same refrain, the inability to score runs with runners in scoring position," Maddon said.

And on the mound.

Cobb, who wasn't feeling well, battled but Maddon pulled him after just four innings, deciding 92 pitches (including 33 in the fourth) and three walks was enough on a hot night. Cobb acknowledged that he needed to be sharper, but allowed he was "a little surprised" to be pulled then.

Overall, Maddon said, "it's been really awkward and we don't have much time to make it better. But we've still got to try to make it better.''

Contact Marc Topkin at Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

Sloppy Rays fall to Orioles 08/26/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 12:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays have their chances, but end up with another loss (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The litany of games the Rays have given away this season is long enough, arguably too lengthy. So the only way to get to the postseason is make up for some of those losses by grabbing some wins when the opportunity is presented, especially at this time of year when the margin is diminished and the stakes …

    Associated Press
  2. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Blue Jays game

    The Heater

    You wonder if the scouting reports and/or workload are catching up to rookie RHP Jake Faria. The bottom line wasn't bad again, three runs in 51/3 innings, but he's having to work harder to get there.

  3. Rays journal: Chris Archer eager for eventful final stretch

    The Heater

    TORONTO — RHP Chris Archer takes the mound today for the Rays as they head into the final 40 games of the season with little margin for error as they battle for an American League playoff spot.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) takes a moment on the mound in the second inning of the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, August 6, 2017.
  4. Tim Tebow's slump continues, as does fan support


    CLEARWATER — On July 29, playing against the Charlotte Stone Crabs, Tim Tebow smacked a mammoth three-run homer, helping the St. Lucie Mets cruise to a 10-3 victory at Charlotte Sports Park.

    St. Lucie’s Tim Tebow, shown Monday at Spectrum Field, struggled at the plate Wednesday against the Threshers.
  5. Rays at Blue Jays, 4:07 p.m. Thursday

    The Heater

    Today: at Blue Jays

    4:07, Rogers Centre, Toronto

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays info: Toll-free 1-888-326-7297

    Probable pitchers

    Rays: RH Chris Archer (8-7, 3.84)

    JAYS: RH Chris Rowley (1-0, 1.69)