Thursday, June 21, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays lose to Baltimore Orioles 5-3

BALTIMORE — And to think manager Joe Maddon said after Friday's game that the Rays were making too many mistakes.

Saturday they went out and performed sheer folly, committing a team-record-tying five errors — including three in one inning — plus a few other boneheaded maneuvers, along with another disappointing performance by rookie starter Matt Moore, in losing again to the Orioles, 5-3.

Afterward, they tried to push the positive, noting that they were still in the game despite the defensive debacle, how they're competing without key players and others out of position, that they're still among the league's top teams at 20-14 and have gone through these types of skids before.

But the reality is they've lost six of seven, there's no pending moves to fortify their roster, the mistakes are as much mental as physical and they are not playing anything close to the way that keyed their run of success.

"We're just not playing our game; it's obvious," Maddon said. "There's that fine line between winning and losing. Now we're doing the things that are permitting us to lose, or causing us to lose. Where we were doing things that were permitting us to win prior to this. We weren't making the same mistakes. I think it's pretty much as simple as that."

"It's uncharacteristic, obviously," infielder Sean Rodriguez said.

"It happens," centerfielder B.J. Upton said.

The Rays led 1-0 when Brandon Guyer, for the second straight year, homered in his first at-bat at Camden Yards. (And his wife, Washington, D.C., sportscaster Lindsay Murphy, missed it again, on assignment in New York this time for the Capitals-Rangers hockey playoff game.)

But that's when the sloppiness started, with three errors in the second — tying a team mark last done in the Devil Rays days of 2007 — leading to two runs. Rodriguez made a great stop at third and a bad throw, Moore made an errant pickoff toss and Guyer, with two outs, misplayed a ball rolling along the leftfield wall. "Totally on me," Guyer said.

The fifth brought more of the same, starting with Chris Gimenez's third catcher's interference, most for a season in the majors since 2006. After a single and a walk loaded the bases, Adam Jones grounded a single past Moore for two runs. Upton made the next error, allowing the other runners to advance, but it hardly mattered since the Rays failed to cover second anyway.

Moore, the touted rookie, continues to struggle (1-3, 5.31 in seven starts), failing to get through five innings, or hold a lead, for the second straight start, though the poor defense was a factor. He lasted a career-low 41/3 innings.

Maddon acknowledged several areas that need improvement, specifically fastball command early in counts, but said "concern is a little bit heavy." Further, he said there are no plans to drop Moore from the rotation or send him back to Triple A.

"I think you just keep running him out there," Maddon said.

Moore said he is confident he can work through it. "Definitely frustrating," he said. "At the same time, it's not necessarily discouraging. … I still believe in myself, I still believe in my stuff."

Overall, there's a lot they need to do better. "It'll turn around," Upton said.

Marc Topkin can be reached at [email protected]

Comments
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...
Updated: 4 hours ago
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...
Updated: 5 hours ago
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...
Updated: 5 hours ago
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...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Kevin Kiermaier returns to the Rays

Times sports columnist Tom Jones joins Rick Stroud to discuss Kevin Kiermaier's return to the Rays, whether Victor Hedman should win the Norris Trophy for the NHL's best defenseman, Bucs expectations for this season and Barry Trotz's next c...
Published: 06/20/18
How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

How the Rays really won Tuesday’s game over Astros

There was some interesting inside baseball elements that factored into the late innings of Tuesday's 2-1 Rays win.* First, on Matt Duffy's double off reliever Hector Rondon to lead off the eighth.Duffy said he doesn't like "to guess" what a pitcher i...
Published: 06/20/18
Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

Rays’ Kevin Kiermaier returns, with energy to spare

HOUSTON — Energy.That's what Kevin Kiermaier said he felt he'd provide most in rejoining the Rays Tuesday against the Astros after missing two-plus months recovering from thumb surgery."I like to think I bring energy on both sides of the ball, ...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

Rays journal: Blake Snell outlasts Justin Verlander in 2-1 win

HOUSTON — The starting pitcher walked seven over seven otherwise solid innings Tuesday. That seemed weird enough for the Rays. Then the next pitcher they brought in was the one who started Monday's game. Even more bizarre.And then there was thi...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/20/18
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Rays-Astros

This is how odd LHP Blake Snell's night was — he became the first pitcher to work seven or more innings and walk at least seven since Edwin Jackson threw his 149-pitch, eight-walk no-hitter at the Rays on June 25, 2010.If you weren't aware of t...
Published: 06/19/18
For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

For starters: Rays at Astros, with Kiermaier back and an ace-high matchup

UPDATE, 6:45: Cash said Smith will continue to play a lot, getting time in LF and RF, meaning something of a rotation system for rookie Johnny Field and veteran Carlos Gomez.UPDATE, 4:49: Kiermaier is batting leadoff and playing center as expected, w...
Published: 06/19/18