1. Sports
  2. /
  3. Rays

Rays don’t do a lot right in coming up on wrong side of 4-3 loss to A’s

The defense wasn’t crisp, there were some mistakes on the mound and the bats went quiet.
DIRK SHADD | Times Tampa Bay Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier (39) slides into second base on a double steal with Oakland Athletics shortstop Jurickson Profar (23) going airborne on the play as Rays Willy Adames (1) also steals home from third base during fourth inning action at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, June 11, 2019.
Published Jun. 12
Updated Jun. 12

ST. PETERSBURG – Manager Kevin Cash created a narrative in talking after Monday’s win about all his Rays did right, playing like they were built to in combining good defense, sharp pitching and clutch hitting.

Tuesday, was a different story.

What the Rays did wrong, and what they failed to do right, doubled up on them in a 4-3 loss to the A’s.


Emilio Pagan, who hadn’t allowed a homer in a sharp start to the season, faltered badly, allowing a pair two pitches apart in the sixth that flipped the score, and against his former A’s mates at that.


Shortstop Willy Adames bounced a throw on a routine one-out grounder in advance of the back-to-back homers, changing the dynamic of the situation. And that after the first A’s run was set up by a Mike Zunino passed ball.

Clutch hitting?

More like no hitting, as the Rays were held to just on the night by a quarter of A’s pitchers. They converted in only one of five at-bats with runners in scoring position, and that was the last one.

The loss dropped the Rays to 41-25, and back into a tie atop the AL East with the Yankees, who split a Subway Series doubleheader.

Adames took the blame, even though first baseman Ji-Man Choi was confident he had hung on to the ball in his bare hand despite a replay review that took only 46 seconds to confirm the call, and that a better throw wouldn’t have gotten the Rays out of the inning

“I think that was the play that cost the game,’’ Adames said. “It would've been two outs there, maybe the homers wouldn't have happened. What can I tell you? I'm a human being. And I don't want to make a mistake.’’

Adames said he didn’t have a good grip on the ball, and that the positioning may have been a factor. “When we play the shift you’re not in your regular position and sometimes you’ve got to take an extra step,’’ he said. “And that’s why you don’t have a good grip and you don’t make a good throw.’’

Cash said obviously it was a play they had to get an out on. "He’s been really, really good for us,'' Cash said. "That one stung a little bit. Two home runs after that probably magnified it. That’s the way it goes some times. Unfortunate.''

Adames otherwise had an eventful night, swiping home on the back end of a double-steal, and singling in a run in the ninth, but it was of little solace.

Pagan wasn’t too down over how the game changed on his watch, feeling he got beat making a good pitch, a 96 mph fastball, in a bad, 2-0, count to Matt Olson for the two-run homer and then a bad pitch, a cutter that didn’t cut, to Davis.

Pagan, who spent most of last season with the A’s, acknowledged he was looking forward to facing his ex-mates and insisted it didn’t sting any worse to get beat my them than anyone else.

“You always want to do good especially against your buddies but other than that no,’’ he said. “I look forward to taking the mound against anybody, but it's a little more fun when there's a little bit of a relationship going in there.’’

Olson said familiarity was not a factor.

“I don’t think very much at all,” Olson said. “I had never faced him, or maybe I had a couple years ago in Seattle, but I didn’t really remember too much from him. I was still up there, kind of feeling him out a little bit. He just got behind and had to kind of come after me.”

Cash didn’t find any fault beyond the two improper pitches, especially since Pagan had allowed only two runs total in his first 20 outings.

“I don’t know if anything went wrong,’ he said. “He left maybe two pitches he’d like to have back a little up in the zone, but he’s been so lights-out for us. Look forward to getting him right back out there. It was almost shocking (given) how his season has gone to this point. He’ll be fine. Just gave up two home runs to guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark.”

Cash, as he usually does, have the credit to the opposing pitchers, led by starter Mike Fiers, for shutting the Rays down.

“Kind of a quiet night at the plate obviously,’’ he said. “We didn’t do many things wrong, we were just pitched really, really tough.”

They got their first run on a 458-foot homer by Tommy Pham, the other on double steal in the fourth. Then Adames singled in Brandon Lowe in the ninth.

Their best early opportunity came in the second when they got their first two on as Ji-Man Choi walked and Adames singled. But they got nothing out of it as Kevin Kiermaier struck out, Mike Zunino, who by the end of the night was 1-for-his-last-31 and hitting .176 popped up, and, after the runners moved up on a wild pitch, Guillermo Heredia grounded out.

"We didn’t get the big hit and nothing went our way at the plate,'' Cash said. "We’re going to have some days like that.''

Contact Marc Topkin at Follow @TBTimes_Rays.


  1. Picturesque Dodger Stadium, where Rays take on Dodgers tonight. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Rays visiting NL best in a YouTube only game, third visit to Dodger Stadium in seven years after none in first 15.
  2. Blake Snell on his return: “I think if (we were) 20 games out I probably wouldn’t pitch the rest of the season, honestly." CARLOS OSORIO  |  AP
    With the team in the playoff hunt, Snell’s return from injury is expedited, but Tampa Bay still expects quality innings.
  3. Rays sensation Austin Meadows, right, and teammate Willy Adames will have plenty to celebrate if the Rays can make ground in the wild-card race this week. ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times
    The multi-step process starts with registering online for a “postseason ticket opportunity."
  4. Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Felipe Vazquez works against the Colorado Rockies in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Denver. Pirates All-Star closer Felipe Vazquez has been arrested on charges of pornography and soliciting a child. Vazquez was taken into custody Tuesday morning by Pennsylvania State Police on one count of computer pornography/solicitation of a child and one count of providing obscene material to minors. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File) DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP
    The girl was 13 when the relationship began, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement says.
  5. Blake Snell returns to the mound tonight in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. [AP photo]
    As part of an MLB package, select games are moved off traditional TV for viewing via mobile devices, smart TVs, laptops.
  6. The Rays' Travis d'Arnaud drives in three runs with a bases-loaded double during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels. MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ  |  AP
    Since the May trade for $100,000, d’Arnaud has been a key contributor to the Rays’ success on and off the field.
  7. Brendan McKay, shown here in July at the Trop as the Rays' DH against the Orioles, comes through with his first major-league hit on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, against the Angels. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    After winning his June debut on the mound, the rookie gets his first hit Sunday. Also, Pagan as the savior, Meadows keeps streaking.
  8. The Angels' Andrelton Simmons beats the throw to Rays catcher Mike Zunino to score on a double by Albert Pujols during the first inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    On the merits of resiliency, Yarbrough’s career-high workload, Pham’s adventurous albeit not costly trip around the bases.
  9. Rays shortstop Willy Adames battles a ground ball up the middle but can't come up with the single hit by the Angels' Kevan Smith during the third inning on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. ALEX GALLARDO  |  AP
    Angels 6, Rays 4: A rough outing by Ryan Yarbrough puts Tampa Bay down early, and a late rally wasn’t enough.
  10. The Rays wrap up their series with the Angels today at picturesque Angel Stadium in Anaheim. MARC TOPKIN  |  Tampa Bay Times
    Tommy Pham is hitting leadoff as the Rays go with six righty hitters vs. Angels lefty Sandoval.