Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose 2-1 to Mariners, finish homestand 4-6

ST. PETERSBURG — As the Rays dressed and packed and tried to explain their latest disappointment, a 2-1 Sunday loss to Seattle that wrapped what was supposed to be a momentum-generating homestand at a sputtering 4-6, the most prevalent word, in various forms, was frustration.

The fans showed it. The manager acknowledges it. The players feel it.

"I think we're all frustrated at this point," centerfielder B.J. Upton said.

And as they head out for a nine-game country-crossing road trip that takes them through the July 31 deadline for nonwaiver trades, the biggest issue might be how the bosses in the front office react to it.

Will they stick with the status quo, banking on the eventual return of injured third baseman Evan Longoria to improve their impotent offense? Make a deal to enhance their chances by bringing in a much-needed bat? Or decide to look, at least somewhat, to the future, and deal one or several of their current key players to fill other holes?

"I don't want to see this team dismantled like, 'Okay, it's over guys.' I don't want that. I want to give this a shot," first baseman Carlos Peña said.

"Yes, we're getting punched around, and it hurts. But I feel like if we survive this round and go take a little break, get some water, put a little bit of ice on our foreheads and black eyes, and just come back, maybe we'll land a great punch, and next thing you know we've stung the opponent and we're on top. That's what I'm looking for."

Manager Joe Maddon remains optimistic as well, confident that their standing in the AL wild-card race — 2½ games out despite dropping to 49-47 — will encourage them to seek help rather than break up what they have, even as top scouts from teams such as the Angels and Tigers hovered at the Trop this weekend.

"I think we definitely want to try to be additive about the whole thing because we have a solid chance to do this," Maddon said.

"It's no time to give up, it's no time to start crying. It's a difficult moment because we really did not take advantage of some pretty good opportunities over the last couple days."

The core issue remains scoring more runs. They were held to 33 on the homestand, hitting only .180 with runners in scoring position.

Sunday made it two straight days they produced only one run, a strong start by rookie Matt Moore wasted as they were shackled for eight innings by Seattle's pedestrian Blake Beavan, who had allowed 22 runs and 30 hits over his previous 19 innings. "We should not permit that to happen," Maddon said.

But the manager acknowledged there isn't much else they can do, except hope and wait.

"You could rearrange the chairs on the deck but, honestly, I don't see many options available to us right now," Maddon said. "If you break it down, you could talk about a lot of good things a lot of the guys have been doing. It's just as a group it's been frustrating."

"It's the same old story," outfielder Matt Joyce said. "We've got to find a way to score runs. I don't know. I really don't have an answer. I think everybody's kind of in the same mind-set where we're just kind of waiting for something to come along or hoping some hits come or something. We've got to find a way to score runs — however."

Frustrating, to say the least.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

So, how exactly did the Rays end up losing Monday?

The Rays lost Monday's game when Sergio Romo failed them in the ninth inning.Called on to protect what was whittled to a one-run lead from 4-0, Romo got off to a bad start, walking the first batter on four pitches and then allowing a single to the se...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays continue to struggle in close games

The Rays blow a four-run lead in Houston and lose on a walkoff hit to the Astros in the opener of their three-game series. It's the 19th one-run loss for the Rays this season as they continue to struggle in close games. Fortunately, reinforcements ar...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

Rays DFA Rob Refsnyder to make room for Kevin Kiermaier

The Rays made official after Monday's game that CF Kevin Kiermaier would be activated on Tuesday.And to make room on the 40- and 25 man rosters, they designated for assignment OF Rob Refsnyder.Acquired from the Indians for cash considerations just be...
Published: 06/19/18
Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

Rays journal: A 4-0 lead disappears in loss at Houston

HOUSTON — The Rays brought up several of their top prospects so they can get as much experience as possible.And Monday that included seeing how the relentless defending champion Astros worked their way back from an early four-run deficit to sco...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

Devil Rays manager Lou Piniella pondered upside-down pitching in 2005

HOUSTON — Well before the idea of using a reliever to open games, as the Rays did against the Astros Monday for the 12th time, and then bringing in a starter was even a gleam in the eyes of the current Rays staff, former manager Lou Piniella wa...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

RHP Ryne Stanek continues to look comfortable and confident as the game opener, retiring all five batters he faced. His six starts now cover a complete game, and he has allowed only two runs in the nine innings.OF Carlos Gomez's feelings about not li...
Published: 06/18/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

For starters: Rays at Astros, trying to stop a streaking champion

UPDATE, 6:40: Cash said he had a good talk with Hechavarria, and that he understood the situation. Cash said Hechavarria will get to play some, and when he does it will be at short. … RHP Chris Archer (abdominal strain) is slated to throw a bul...
Published: 06/18/18
Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

Kevin Kiermaier set to rejoin Rays Tuesday

CF Kevin Kiermaier is here in Houston and will work out with the Rays today, and said that if all goes well he will be activated on Tuesday.That would be a couple days ahead of his most recent timetable, which had him slated to return to Friday.Kierm...
Published: 06/18/18
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Rays drop three of four in New York

The Rays lose three of four games in New York as Rick Stroud says they fail to figure out the Yankees' pitching. With Christian Arroyo injured, they activate Adeiny Hechavarria — one of the stars of Sunday's win — from the disabled list a...
Published: 06/18/18
Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

Rays journal: Adeiny Hechavarria returns and plays short, but now what?

NEW YORK — The Adeiny Hechavarria situation is going to be interesting for the Rays. The veteran seemed destined to be traded or even released as he completed his recovery from a hamstring strain rather than play again for the Rays after last ...
Published: 06/18/18