Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays strike out 15 times in loss to Texas Rangers

B.J. Upton leaves five men on base and strikes out twice against right-hander Scott Feldman.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

B.J. Upton leaves five men on base and strikes out twice against right-hander Scott Feldman.

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays had a chance Sunday to sweep Texas and pull even for second place in the wild-card race, but they whiffed.

And whiffed, and whiffed, and whiffed.

Fifteen strikeouts, their most this season in a regulation game, were a big part of the problem in the 4-0 loss, as they got only five hits and were shut out a home for the first time since April — 2008.

"Definitely disappointing," Carlos Peña said. "We really wanted to take this game and go for the sweep, but it didn't happen."

The loss left the Rays (67-56) two games behind the Rangers and three games behind the wild-card-leading Red Sox. The Rays headed to Toronto dressed in black for their latest themed trip (Johnny Cash/Ring of Fire), but there was no symbolic mourning of missed opportunity.

If anything, they took some solace in going 6-3 at home and holding ground against the teams they are chasing, if not the schedule, which shows 39 games left.

"If you think about two out of three in each series, before the homestand began you would say, 'Take it,' " manager Joe Maddon said. "When you get a chance to do better than that obviously at the end that presents a different tone to the entire situation. But at the end of the day you have to understand and realize it was actually an excellent homestand."

They were fortunate to do that well considering they got one hit — Peña's 10th-inning single Saturday — for the weekend in 25 at-bats with runners in scoring position (including 0-for-8 Sunday).

"That's unbelievable, isn't it?" Maddon said. "It also speaks to their pitching. Their pitching is really that good."

The Rangers have to show they can keep it up through the heat of September, but they were that good Sunday, as Scott Feldman got his 13th win with seven crisp innings, allowing just four singles and striking out a career-high 11.

Maddon twice referred to it as "the best pitched game against us all year," though Chicago's Mark Buehrle, who spun a perfect game July 23, might have a decent argument.

But the point was that Feldman was very good, and the Rays couldn't do much about it, as every starter but Gregg Zaun struck out at least once.

"He was really on," Peña said. "I was on second and I saw a pitch he threw to B.J. (Upton) and, wow! I thought to myself, 'That's unhittable.' "

David Price didn't do as well, but he didn't do badly. He allowed two runs when red-hot right-handed hitter Michael Young laced a ball between Peña and first base, and another when Ivan Rodriguez's smash to third took a funky bounce over Evan Longoria's head — "It hit something," he said — for a double.

The Rays sense the Rangers are legit foes, and head out for seven games in Toronto and Detroit aware of their shortcomings on the road but unsure how to change their luck, aside from changing their look.

"Hopefully the black hair is going to have something to do with that," said the recently dyed Maddon. "I'm really looking for all these different possible cures, so I went with the black hair. And if this actually does work, it's going to make it a lot easier in the future."

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com

Tampa Bay Rays strike out 15 times in loss to Texas Rangers 08/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 3:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Trump: Objection to NFL protests 'has nothing to do with race'

    National

    MORRISTOWN, New Jersey — President Donald Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but …

    President Donald Trump speaks to reporters upon his return to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. Trump insisted Sunday that his opposition to NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality "has nothing to do with race" but has to do with "respect for our country and respect for our flag." [Associated PRss]
  2. World War II vet, 97, takes a knee in support of anthem protests

    Human Interest

    SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On a day when NFL teams grabbed the nation's attention by coordinating demonstrations during the national anthem, a 97-year-old World War II veteran went viral with a solitary show of support for the protests.

    Brennan Gilmore posted a Twitter picture Sunday morning of his grandfather, John Middlemas, kneeling while wearing a veteran's cap. [Twitter]
  3. NFL Week 3: What we learned

    Bucs

    Take the knee … well, not NOW

     1. Photo of Roger Mooney for Times Sports.
  4. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Sunday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    RHP Chris Archer's primary problem Sunday, as in much of September, was a lack of slider command. When he can't throw it where he wants, and doesn't have the confidence in the changeup to throw it often, he can't win with just his fastball.

  5. Somehow, Rays' Chris Archer remains just shy of being an ace

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — Chris Archer had another bad game Sunday.

    Chris Archer is sputtering to the finish line, his rough start on Sunday his fourth in his past five in which he hasn’t gotten past four innings.