Saturday, June 23, 2018
Sports

Rays' Zobrist has tough game at bat, in field

BOSTON — Ben Zobrist has been the Rays' most versatile player all season, and one of their most valuable.

But Zobrist had an all-around rough night in a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday in Game 2 of the American League Division Series.

The All-Star second baseman was taken out on a hard slide by Shane Victorino in the third inning, made a rare error in the fourth and came up empty in two key situations at the plate.

Zobrist, who went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts to break his nine-game postseason hitting streak, said it has just been a tough series for the team overall.

"It's just the way the game goes sometimes," Zobrist said. "You can't force things, and sometimes you can't control how the ball bounces and different things. We just haven't gotten the breaks that we wanted to in the first two games."

Zobrist played Gold Glove-caliber defense this season, leading American League second basemen with a .993 fielding percentage, making only four errors. But Zobrist's errant throw in the fourth extended the Red Sox rally and eventually led to a run. With no outs and a runner on first, Jonny Gomes hit a grounder to Evan Longoria, who had trouble getting the ball out of his glove before getting it to Zobrist at second. Zobrist, however, threw the ball high, hitting the facing of the Red Sox dugout.

Zobrist said he never had a good grip on the baseball and didn't know if he could have thrown out Gomes anyway. Gomes advanced to second on the error and scored on Stephen Drew's triple.

"I was trying to do too much," Zobrist said.

First baseman James Loney pointed out that Mike Napoli was coming hard into second as Zobrist was throwing; Victorino had slid into Zobrist the previous inning to break up a double play, knocking him to the ground.

"He's been doing great all year," Loney said of Zobrist. "The runner was getting on him a little bit. But (Zobrist) is a different guy; I like playing with him."

In the fifth, Zobrist had a chance to make up for the mistake, batting with two on and two out and the Rays down two runs, but he struck out looking on a 3-and-2 pitch from starter John Lackey.

"I thought it was a ball, obviously, that's why I took it," Zobrist said. "But (plate umpire Eric Cooper) saw differently."

In the seventh, Zobrist came up again in a big spot, with two on, but he grounded into an inning-ending double play. Zobrist wasn't alone, as the Rays went 2-for-8 with runners in scoring position, including hitting into three double plays.

"We had our opportunities," Zobrist said. "We just didn't make good on enough of them."

Comments
Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

Tampa Bay Tech wins Battle of the Bay 7-on-7 tournament

TAMPA — Tampa Bay Tech lost some significant players from an offense that averaged more than 40 points per game last season.The biggest departures were in the passing game. Mike Penix, the Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay offensive player of the ...
Updated: 0 minutes ago
Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

Greg Auman answers your questions about NFL’s investigation into Jameis Winston

There are many unanswered questions and unresolved discrepancies to the story of Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston and the March 2016 Uber ride in Arizona that led to him facing a three-game suspension to start the upcoming season.The Bucs won't commen...
Updated: 12 minutes ago

Sports on TV/radio for Sunday, June 24

TODAYAutosFormula 1: French Grand Prix10 a.m.ESPN2IndyCar: Kohler Grand Prix1 p.m.NBCSNMonster Energy Cup: Toyota/Save Mart 3503 p.m.FS1; 102.5-FMNHRA: Summit Racing Equipment Nationals (taped)6:30 p.m.FS1BaseballYankees at Rays1 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMM...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays team up to beat Yankees again, 4-0

Rays team up to beat Yankees again, 4-0

ST. PETERSBURG – A strong start by Wilmer Font, a team effort by the bullpen and big hits by rookie infielders Willy Adames and Jake Bauers led the Rays to a second straight win over the Yankees on Saturday, 4-0.In what was supposed to be anoth...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

Will this be Jameis Winston’s last season in a Bucs uniform?

A t his introductory news conference after being drafted No. 1 overall by the Bucs in 2015, Jameis Winston said to judge him on his actions moving forward."Actions speak so much louder than words, or what they may have read or what they may have hear...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Rays Tales: Why ‘trades’ and ‘prospects’ are always in same conversation

Besides the continual evolution of their intriguing pitching plan, the primary topics of conversation for the Rays over the next several weeks will be trades and prospects. And not mutually exclusively.Some sooner than others, the Rays are going to c...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

Lightning takes Quebec LW Gabriel Fortier with second-round pick

The Lightning is on the board in the 2018 NHL draft, using their first pick — 59th overall in the second round — on Gabriel Fortier, an undersize left wing from Quebec."I spoke with them a couple of times, so I knew there was an interest,...
Updated: 5 hours ago
For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

For starters: Rays vs. Yankees, looking for two straight

UPDATE, 2:38: Clarifying what was a communication error with the team PR staff, Rays manager Kevin Cash said LHP Blake Snell was slated for an extra day's rest all along and will face the Nationals on Monday not the Yankees on Sunday. The Rays will u...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

Live blog: 2018 NHL entry draft

The Lightning isn't scheduled to pick until the second round, but there's no telling how active they might be with trades, so you'll want to follow our live coverage throughout the NHL draft Friday (Round 1) and Saturday (Rounds 2-7) in Dallas.(funct...
Published: 06/23/18
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 ...
Published: 06/22/18