ST. PETERSBURG — This was the kind of late-season game the Rays had to win if they are planning to play in the postseason.Coming off a tough loss the night before, playing at home against a Twins team they are chasing for the second American League wild-card spot, starting All-Star ace Chris Archer against rookie Tyler Duffey, who began his season pitching against the Rays' Double-A Montgomery team and was making only his fourth big-league appearance.And yet, a 5-3 defeat."Disappointing loss, to say the least," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.Archer and the relievers threw some bad pitches. There were some misplays and missed plays in the field.But the reason they lost as much as anything — dropping to 62-64 and three games off the wild card — was a glaring amount of inefficiency on offense.Consider that over the fourth, fifth and sixth innings they had 11 men on base — four walks, four singles, a double, triple and home run — and scored only two runs.Two.They had the bases loaded in the fourth, but James Loney grounded softly to first. Loaded in the fifth, but Logan Forsythe lined out. And loaded in the sixth, with no outs, but Rene Rivera fouled out, Daniel Nava popped out and pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer flied out.Cash called the performance in those situations overall "frustrating," but he was particularly irked by the sixth.Specifically, Cash said Rivera's at-bat, in which he took three pitches from Duffey then popped out to first, was "noncompetitive, basically.""We're better than that," Cash said. "And I think we know for us to win games going forward, we've got to make the most of those opportunities. When guys are getting on base, doesn't matter where you're hitting in the lineup, everybody has a role and jobs to do, and if your job is to move the ball, move the ball."Rivera, batting .186 on the season, said he was trying to put the ball in play, "trying to get something over the heads of the infield.''Archer was impressive at times during his six-plus innings, striking out 12. But the bottom line wasn't as he was charged with four runs while allowing nine hits and a walk, only 66 of his 105 pitches strikes.The game turned in an odd seventh after the teams went through an exchange of runs.The inning started with Archer making the mistake he said he would rue the most, a leadoff walk to Shane Robinson, the Tampa native. The Twins followed with two bunt singles to load the bases, one in which Archer made a throw that was not in time, the other going over his head to end his night. The Twins then scored on a broken-bat bloop single and a sac fly."I did everything I could, we did everything we could, the ball didn't bounce our way," Archer said.For whatever reason, bad breaks or bad play, the result was another loss, and in front of a Trop gathering of 9,205, second smallest of the season."We look at these last two games as opportunities, we were in ball games and a couple hits here or there or a couple pitches made, we could be on the better end of the outcomes," Cash said."We can't keep saying that. I think everybody in this clubhouse knows that. Sometimes you've got to make your own situation. And it's probably time that we start doing that." Contact Marc Topkin at firstname.lastname@example.org . Follow @TBTimes_Rays.