Saturday, April 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose 7-3 to Cleveland Indians

CLEVELAND — The first half of the season has been tough enough, what with the injuries, the inconsistencies and the incessant mistakes. And after another bad night in a 7-3 loss to the Indians on Saturday, the Rays need a win today, with veteran James Shields on the mound, to keep the sting from sticking with them throughout the upcoming four-day All-Star break.

"No question, to win (today), get Shields out there to pitch his typical game and go home with a win would be outstanding," manager Joe Maddon said. "Just try to regroup, try to reorganize in some areas, just try to get better at some of the things that we normally do well that we haven't to this point, and move on from there.

"With all the stuff that's been going on, all the moving parts, I'm definitely pleased we are within this striking distance. But we're still making too many awkward mistakes that have to go away."

Saturday, that started — and pretty much ended — with rookie lefty Matt Moore, who delivered one of his most disappointing outings of the season, giving up five runs on five hits (all doubles) and five walks while failing to get out of the fifth inning.

"It was a pretty poor effort," Moore said, "and not much else other than that."

Moore, who dropped to 5-6 with a 4.42 ERA, couldn't do much of anything well.

"Matty did not have one of his better days," Maddon said. "A decent first inning, then it just got away from him. He had an uncomfortable look and command issues. … We needed a little better start to stay competitive and win that game, because their guy was pretty sharp. It's just a youthful thing, and I still firmly believe in how good he's going to be. It was just a tough night for him."

And that was pretty much it for the Rays, who dropped to 44-41, 71/2 games behind the division-leading Yankees, though only two off the wild-card pace. The offense — except for Luke Scott, now on a hot streak with homers in back-to-back games — showed no carryover from Friday's 10-run, 13-hit outburst, scoring four or fewer runs for the 11th time in the past 13 games. Plus, the Rays struck out 12 more times.

The Rays said Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who worked six strong innings, deserved credit, but that has become a common concession.

"Obviously, something we've been struggling to do is hit consistently," infielder Sean Rodriguez said. "It stinks to say that every time, but most of the time that's what it seems to be, a pitcher just making his pitches."

And there was the Rays' now-standard series of mistakes or unmade plays in the field. Leftfielder Desmond Jennings and Rodriguez came up short on diving catches that led to runs.

Added was the burden of getting a 25th out. The Rays were called out of the dugout after seemingly ending the seventh. Home plate umpire Scott Barry overruled first-base ump Jerry Meals that first baseman Carlos Peña had hung on to a Rodriguez throw, though Maddon said Barry made the right call.

A win today and a strong start from Shields — who has allowed 24 hits in his past two games — could go a long way. Like, all the way until they host the Red Sox on Friday.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 3 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, with a familiar look

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, with a familiar look

UPDATE, 4:17: CF Kevin Kiermaier was back at the Trop, and at one point on the field with a glove on his left hand and protective wrapping on his right, the day after surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right thumb. He said the surgery went "as good ...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Rays will go forth with Chirinos as fourth starter

Rays will go forth with Chirinos as fourth starter

The Rays have made it official – or as official as things can be with them – in naming RHP Yonny Chirinos as the fourth starter in their rotation.The Rays had been using three, and two "Bullpen Day" slots when playing five straight days.B...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Archerís sparkling start precedes surreal finish

Archerís sparkling start precedes surreal finish

By now, we presume you've had a few hours to digest the Rays' improbable 10-inning triumph Friday night.So instead of rehashing the whole bizarre body of work, how 'bout a closer look at the workmanship. Specifically, Chris Archer's.Partially lost in...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Now Batting in Double A: Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero

Now Batting in Double A: Biggio, Bichette and Guerrero

HARTFORD, Conn. — Craig Breslow is 37 years old, with a dozen years of experience as a left-handed reliever in the major leagues. He is pitching now for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats, just getting to know his teammates. In their openin...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

Span, Rays top Twins in 10 innings

ST. PETERSBURG — Roughly four hours before taking the field against his former team Friday, Rays outfielder Denard Span spoke admirably about the Minnesota Twins, their organization in general, even hometown icon Joe Mauer.But business is busin...
Published: 04/20/18
Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

Rays journal: Miller back from DL, KK surgery successful

ST. PETERSBURG — For a change, the physically snake-bitten Rays got some vigor, versatility and even a veteran presence back in their lineup  when INF Brad Miller was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.To make room, they DFA'd INF/OF...
Published: 04/20/18
Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

Plan to entice developers to help pay for Rays ballpark hits speed bump

TAMPA ó Private developers would bear much of the cost of a new Rays stadium in Ybor City under a plan Hillsborough County officials are putting together.Developers would benefit by cashing in on commercial, retail and other construction around a ne...
Published: 04/20/18
For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

For starters: Rays vs. Twins, 7:10 p.m.

Tonight's Rays lineup against the Twins. Brad Miller back in the lineup following his DL stint (left groin strain). First pitch at 7:10 p.m.LF Denard SpanDH C.J. CronRF Carlos Gomez1B Brad Miller3B Daniel Robertson2B Joey WendleC Wilson RamosCF Malle...
Published: 04/20/18
Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

Rays DFA Brandon Snyder to activate Brad Miller

The Rays activated INF Brad Miller off the DL for Friday's game.Miller had been out 11 days due to a groin strain.To make room on the roster, they DFA'd INF/OF Brandon Snyder, who was called up on Tuesday.
Published: 04/20/18