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. Aaron Hernandez had severe CTE; daughter sues NFL, Patriots

    Bucs

    BOSTON — Tests conducted on the brain of former football star Aaron Hernandez showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and his attorney said Thursday that the player's daughter is suing the NFL and the New England Patriots for leading Hernandez to believe the sport …

    Aaron Hernandez's lawyer says the former New England Patriots tight end's brain showed severe signs of the degenerative brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs' Josh Robinson excited for return to Vikings

    Bucs

    For much of Josh Robinson's four seasons with the Vikings, there was excitement leading up to the arrival of the $1.1-billion U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened last season, just as Robinson signed with the …

    Josh Robinson (26) tackles Chicago punt returner Eddie Royal (19) during a game between the Bucs and Bears in 2016. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times]
  3. For starters: Rays at Orioles, meeting up with ex-mate Tim Beckham

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 6:05: Cash gave both CF Kevin Kiermaier and SS Adeiny Hechavarria a day off, noting they have been playing pretty much everyday. ... That also gave them a chance to look more at two of their younger position players, OF Mallex Smith and INF Daniel Robertson. ... Cash said he was happy for Beckham that he …

    Tim Beckham made a smashing debut with the Orioles, hitting .394 with six homers and 19 RBIs in August.
  4. From the archives: Account of famed Riggs-King match heightens Tampa mob intrigue

    Tennis

    With the Sept. 29 opening of "Battle of the Sexes" — the movie starring Emma Stone and Steve Carrell about Billie Jean King's landmark 1973 tennis win over Bobby Riggs — we thought there might be renewed interest in this 2013 Peter Jamison story from the Tampa Bay Times.

    Emma Stone as Billie Jean King and Steve Carell as Bobby Riggs in "Battle of the Sexes."  [Melinda Sue Gordon, Fox Searchlight Pictures]
  5. It's not a game, but the names are all the same in this football family

    Footballpreps

    TAMPA — A coach yells across the field into a scrum of blue-and-white clad football bodies at Jefferson High: "Kim Mitchell! Kim Mitchell, come here!"

    These twins are not only identical, but they have almost identical names. Kim Mitchell III, left, and Kim Mitchell IV are  talented football players at Jefferson High with Division I-A college offers. Kim  III wears No. 22 and plays cornerback while Kim IV wears No. 11 and plays safety. (Scott Purks, Special to the Times)