Saturday, June 23, 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
Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

Rodney Page’s takeaways from Rays-Yankees

1. SS Willy Adames had a nice night, and there appear to be many more in his future. He had two hits, an RBI and an inning-ending leaping catch on a line drive by Didi Gregorius in the fifth.2. DH C.J. Cron needs to shake things up. Take a different ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

Marc Anthony pays a visit to the Trop

By Allana BarefieldTimes Staff WriterST. PETERSBURG — Latin pop star Marc Anthony visited Tropicana Field on Friday to see his beloved Yankees play the Rays.Anthony spent nearly an hour on the field before the game as fans and players surrounde...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

Rays journal: Daniel Robertson’s return crowds up infield

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays reinstated INF Daniel Robertson from the 10-day disabled list (left hamstring strain). To make room, RHP Austin Pruitt was sent to Triple-A Durham."It's out of my mind. I don't think about (the hamstring) when I'm bend...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

Rays hang on for a 2-1 win over Yankees

ST. PETERSBURG – Many times this season the Rays' strategy of opening the game with a short reliever and using the bullpen to finish hasn't had much success.Friday wasn't one of those nights.A total of six pitchers held the Yankees and their va...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Rays’ Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves he’s up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

Rays journal: 7 pitches, 3 straight homers prove too much in loss to Astros

HOUSTON — The Rays were engaged in a third straight tight, go-either-way battle with the defending champ Astros on Wednesday.Until they were not.A brutal seven-pitch sequence by starter Nathan Eovaldi changed everything, as he gave up three con...
Published: 06/21/18
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Published: 06/20/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Wednesday’s Rays-Astros game

RHP Nathan Eovaldi said before his rough start Wednesday against the Astros that he was pitching better than his numbers showed. Well … In four starts since his six no-hit innings debut, he's 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA, allowing eight homers, four Wed...
Published: 06/20/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Published: 06/20/18