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)

Tampa Bay Rays fall 3-1 to Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND — After another lifeless loss, 3-1 to the Indians on Thursday, this could be the absolute best way to sum up how bad the Rays are going offensively:

Luke Scott broke the franchise record for futility by going hitless in three at-bats to run his streak to 0-for-39 and — while also spending nearly three weeks on the disabled list — still shares the team lead with 36 RBIs.

"It's humbling, and it's very difficult," Scott said. "It's caused me a lot of sleepless nights and a lot of tears. It really does hurt. It's cut my heart in two."

Scott — seven hitless at-bats from the major-league record set last year by Eugenio Velez of the Dodgers — isn't the only issue with the Rays lineup, which continues to sputter and stall without outfielder Matt Joyce, who had a setback in his rehab, and third baseman Evan Longoria.

Thursday was the 10th time in 11 games the Rays scored four or fewer runs and ninth time this season they've been held to one or no runs. They've hit .209 during the stretch and .167 with runners in scoring position.

As a result, they've lost eight of those 11 and 15 of their past 23 to drop to 43-40.

Part of the problem is the players manager Joe Maddon has available — further reduced with Jeff Keppinger and Hideki Matsui limited to reserve duty Thursday. The other is how little the ones he's using are producing.

"Up and down the lineup, guys just have to pick it up a little bit," Maddon said.

Jeremy Hellickson made the start, which was something of a victory as he was knocked down then out of his last start Saturday after being hit on the right shin by a line drive. Hellickson said he felt fine but quickly put the Rays in what these days looks like a massive hole — allowing solo homers in the first (to leadoff man Shin-Soo Choo) and the second (Mickey Brantley).

"I've just got to come out and make better pitches early," he said.

Maddon found some reason for optimism in the number of balls the Rays hit hard, especially Ben Zobrist and Carlos Peña. And some compassion for Scott, lauding him for maintaining control of his emotions and remaining a good teammate.

"It's going to turn," Maddon said. "And when it does turn, there's going to be a lot of positives coming our way."

With Scott coming in hitless in his past 36 at-bats, one shy of the franchise record set by outfielder Jose Cruz in 2004, Maddon tried to help, giving the usual DH his first start of the season at first base, hoping it would help to feel like "more of a complete ballplayer."

But Scott, whose last hit was June 1, grounded out in the second to tie the team mark, popped out to the catcher in the fourth to set it and flied to right in the seventh to extend it.

Scott, whose previous worst was 0-for-21 in 2005, said he prays daily for relief from his struggles and has been stung by myriad thoughts, feelings and emotions, disappointed personally and frustrated about letting the team down.

Before the game, he said if he wasn't a Christian, he'd "be an alcoholic or something" as a result of the struggles. After, he said, "I'd rather take a beating one day and be laying bleeding on the street … than go through what I'm going through."

Indians 3

Rays 1

Tampa Bay Rays fall 3-1 to Cleveland Indians 07/05/12 [Last modified: Friday, July 6, 2012 7:57am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. FSU-Tulane coming to Amalie Arena in December

    Blogs

    Florida State basketball is coming to Tampa.

  2. Is Mikhail Sergachev, who debuts with Lightning at Wednesday camp, ready for the NHL?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — When defenseman Mikhail Sergachev was taken ninth overall by the Canadiens in the 2016 NHL draft, a horde of Montreal media surrounded him for his first news conference.

    Mikhail Sergachev takes a shot during warmups prior to a game between the Canadiens and Arizona Coyotes in October in Montreal. [Getty Images]
  3. Top pick Brendan McKay signing with Rays for $7M bonus

    Blogs

    The Rays are set to sign top pick 1B/LHP Brendan McKay for a bonus just over $7-million, the Tampa Bay Times has learned.

    McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.

    The deal is expected to be finalized …

    Brendan McKay was the No. 4 overall pick in the June 12 draft as he starred as a two-way player leading Louisville to the College World Series.
  4. Vince Young takes shot at Bucs' Ryan Fitzpatrick

    Blogs

    Former NFL quarterback Vince Young, out of the league since 2011 and complaining about not getting more opportunities to prolong his career, took a shot at new Bucs backup Ryan Fitzpatrick in a story posted at …

    Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed with the Bucs to be Jameis Winston's backup this fall, has played for six other NFL teams in his 12 seasons in the league.