Saturday, January 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose 6-2 to Baltimore Orioles, squander chance to sweep

BALTIMORE — Right-hander James Shields and the Rays just couldn't finish Thursday.

With a chance to complete a three-game sweep over the Orioles and move into sole possession of second place in the AL East, Shields let the game get away in a five-run fifth that led to a 6-2 loss on a simmering, 100-degree day at Camden Yards. Instead, the Rays (51-48) packed their bags for Anaheim, Calif., trailing the Angels, one of the wild-card co-leaders, by 2 1/2 games.

"It's disappointing," Shields said.

With the game scoreless in the fateful fifth, Shields got ahead 0-and-2 to four of the first six batters he faced, but he gave up three hits, walked two and hit a batter in the Orioles' go-ahead rally.

"It came down to two hits, and walking too many guys," said Shields, who tied a career high with five walks in a six-inning outing. "That's pretty much what it came down to."

It started with Nick Markakis hitting a one-out single, and Shields hit the next batter, J.J. Hardy.

"That was big," Shields said.

Veteran slugger Jim Thome worked an 0-and-2 count into a walk, and Adam Jones hit an 0-and-2 pitch over the plate for a two-run single. Shields got ahead 0-and-2 on Matt Wieters, who is in a 1-for-30 slump, before walking him to load the bases.

Then Shields said Chris Davis "hit a pretty good curveball" to the leftfield wall for a bases-clearing double.

Maddon said it was a bit of a command issue for Shields, who had located so well in his last start against Seattle.

"He's throwing well," Maddon said. "It's just kind of exasperating for him, not being able to put hitters away in those moments, when he's normally able to do so."

But this loss doesn't fall entirely on Shields. The offense, which posted 10 runs in Wednesday's win, came back to earth Thursday, going 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. The Rays had Orioles right-hander Chris Tillman, who walked four, on the ropes several times, but they couldn't capitalize.

In the first inning, Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton led off the game with walks, but Ben Zobrist hit into a double play, one of four turned by the Orioles. Tampa Bay finally broke through in the seventh, when Ryan Roberts walked, and Carlos Peña and Sam Fuld followed up with back-to-back doubles.

But Orioles reliever Darren O'Day came in to retire three of the next four hitters to thwart any comeback.

"It felt like we had a little momentum there," Fuld said. "We put some good consecutive swings off Tillman, and you just have to give credit to O'Day for coming in and shutting the door."

The Rays did feel good about the momentum they built to start the nine-game road trip, both with their play on the field as well as getting Fuld back from the disabled list (and third basman Evan Longoria starting his rehab assignment Thursday night).

"We knew this was a big series, a win (Thursday) would go a long way," Fuld said. "But, ultimately, it's a series win, and we'll take that."

 
Comments
Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson lends a hand to help families dealing with cancer

Rays infielder Daniel Robertson has much to be excited about heading into his second season in the majors.But before packing for spring training, he took some time last weekend to provide help for families needing assistance in dealing with cancer.Hi...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Ex-Rays star Longoria dons Giants jersey, looks forward to full-stadium environment in San Francisco

Longtime Rays star Evan Longoria was formally introduced in San Francisco today, adding the visual of him pulling on his new Giants jersey, switching to No. 10 since 3 is retired.Longoria said he welcomed the chance to play on a contending team stock...
Published: 01/19/18
What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

What do Rays look like now? What will they look like March 29?

ST. PETERSBURG — Since entering an off-season planning major change and pledging to be open to "anything and everything,'' the Rays have made a few minor moves and one massive one in trading franchise cornerstone Evan Longoria to San Francisco....
Published: 01/19/18
Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

Reminder: Rays spring tickets go on sale today at 10 a.m.

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale today at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at the...
Published: 01/19/18
Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Tampa Bay Rays 2018 spring training schedule

Charlotte Sports Park, 2300 El Jobean Rd., Port Charlotte, 33948Get tickets here: (941) 206-4487Pitchers report: Feb. 13. Squad reports: Feb. 19TEAM SCHEDULE(games at 1:05 unless noted)(ss - split squad)Feb 23 at Orioles (ss) (Sarasota)Feb 23 PIRATE...
Published: 01/19/18
Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Ex-Phillies, Indians manager Charlie Manuel to get Ted Williams Museum award

Former Phillies and Indians manager Charlie Manuel will receive the Ted Williams Lifetime Achievement Award on Feb. 10 in Clearwater.The honor is bestowed by the Ted Williams Museum at its annual Hitters Hall of Fame induction, moving this year from ...
Published: 01/19/18
Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Former Rays OF Matt Joyce to hold annual charity baseball camp at North Brandon complex

Armwood High product Matt Joyce, the current A's and former Rays outfielder, hosts his ninth annual Sweet Swingin' charity baseball camp for kids 6-12 on Sunday at the North Brandon youth baseball complex (2929 S Kingsway Rd, Seffner).Registration st...
Published: 01/18/18
Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

Rays spring tickets go on sale Friday

The Rays will put single game tickets for spring training home games on sale Friday at 10 a.m. via raysbaseball.com.The Rays are playing 14 home games in Port Charlotte, starting with the Feb. 23 opener vs. Pittsburgh. Tickets will be available at th...
Published: 01/17/18
A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

A look at Rays 40-man roster with spring training starting in less than a month

With the start of spring training now less than a month away, here is what the Rays roster looks like, with the most glaring hole at first base, which at this point seems likely to be manned by Brad Miller, and some questions about the pitching staff...
Published: 01/17/18
Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

Rays opener will be late-afternoon affair

The Rays' March 29 season-opener against the Red Sox has been set for a 4 p.m. first pitch at Tropicana Field.This will be the ninth straight year the Rays have opened at home, and the third time they have opened against the rival Red Sox.  The ...
Published: 01/17/18