Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Smyly rocked by Orioles as Rays lose 11th straight

BALTIMORE — Two somewhat familiar scenes played out Sunday afternoon at Camden Yards.

Drew Smyly struggled through his start, putting his Rays mates too far behind in what ended up a 12-5 loss to the Orioles, their 11th straight.

Then Smyly stood in the clubhouse — after allowing a career-high-matching eight runs over five innings on 10 hits, including three homers — and said he didn't do that badly.

"They were hitting good pitches," he said. "It seemed like every ball found a hole."

Or something.

Smyly got off to a rough start, putting the first three Orioles on (walk, two ground ball singles), then allowing a grand slam to Chris Davis on a belt-high 1-and-2 fastball.

Smyly said he should never have had to throw that pitch because he was "pretty sure" he had Davis struck out on the previous offering, but the umps disagreed.

Then when the Rays got back to within 6-5 with a three-run fifth, Smyly gave the AL East-leading Orioles two runs right back when two "really good pitches" were turned into a leadoff double by Manny Machado (that Smyly noted eluded LF Jaff Decker) and a homer on a well-placed fastball that Mark Trumbo "had to be cheating" on to hit it.

Smyly has now gone seven starts since his last win, with a 2-8 record and a 5.32 ERA overall and 19 homers allowed, second most in the AL.

"There's no denying they kind of beat me up (Sunday); they beat us up all series," he said. "I've got to pitch better, and I didn't do it."

HERE'S OSWALDO: New OF Oswaldo Arcia, acquired from the Twins, has made a solid first impression, homering, rapping a two-run double and making a nice play in right Sunday.

"He's brought a little bit of life here, that's great to see," manager Kevin Cash said. "That's great to see. Hopefully he'll continue to do that. We're going to lean on him while he's obviously swinging the bat the way he is right now."

STREAKING: The Rays' 11-game losing streak, including 10 games against the first-place Giants, Indians and Orioles, matches the Reds for the longest in the majors this season. … The Rays have allowed five-plus runs in each game, the second longest such streak in their history. … This is the furthest — 13½ games — the Rays have been out of first place through 74 games since 2007. … At 31-43, they are 12 games under .500 for the first time since July 1, 2014.

MEDICAL MATTERS: DH/OF Corey Dickerson is out with a very sore left thumb, with a possible return Tuesday. … LHP Enny Romero said his left hand was still "a little sore" from deflecting a line drive Saturday, but he hopes to pitch soon. … OF Brandon Guyer (left hamstring strain) was off Sunday and set to play his second rehab game tonight for advanced Class A Charlotte, eyeing a midweek return. … OF Steven Souza Jr. (hip strain) has been hitting in the cage and is slated to take batting practice on the field at the Trop today. … OF Kevin Kiermaier (left hand fracture) has started taking "dry" — no ball — swings. … RHPs Alex Cobb and Chase Whitley (Tommy John surgeries) will throw bullpens today.

WEBB REPORT: RHP Ryan Webb was activated after a month on the DL due to a right pec strain, eager to lend a hand to the beleaguered bullpen, with Cash saying he plans to use him in higher leverage situations. But Webb's return didn't go well, as he allowed four runs on five hits in the eighth inning.

MISCELLANY: The Rays were swept by the Orioles in a four-game series for the first time. … Rays players, coaches and Cash filled out their All-Star ballots this weekend. … The Red Sox tonight make their first visit to the Trop, and with a matchup of two pretty good young lefties, Blake Snell and Eduardo Rodriguez. … An interesting, and somewhat telling, tidbit from Saturday's nightcap: It was first time in more than a year the Rays had a sac bunt and a sac fly in the same inning.

Comments
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Updated: 11 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Published: 06/19/18