MILWAUKEE — A lot came back to haunt the Rays on Tuesday.
And even a two-run, ghost-busting home run by Yandy Diaz couldn’t save them.
The result was a 5-3 loss to the Brewers that dropped the Rays’ record to 58-51 and leaves them on the edge of dropping out of the three-team American League wild-card field.
The Rays made a number of mistakes — all over the field ― that cost them in different ways.
“Overall, I just feel like we didn’t play a very good game,” manager Kevin Cash said. “We just didn’t play a good game.”
• Opener Jimmy Yacabonis walked the leadoff man and made an errant throw to first, leading to a run.
• First baseman Ji-Man Choi cut off a throw home in the second inning that allowed Luis Urias to score the second Milwaukee run when he looked to likely have been out.
Choi said he saw Brewers third-base coach Jason Lane put up his hands to stop Urias and made his decision based on that, as he often does. “That’s how it’s always been working for me,” he said through team interpreter Daniel Park.
That was foiled however, as Urias ran through the stop sign.
“If that was intentional (to deke the Rays), that’s a pretty impressive play,” Cash said. “If Ji-Man recognized that, I can’t fault him for that. But it looked like there might have been a play at the plate.”
Jose Siri, who threw the ball from centerfield, was sure of it.
“We had him halfway down the street, and I think we would have got him,” he said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro.
• Ryan Yarbrough, who earlier hit two batters, threw his second wild pitch of the night on ball four to Rowdy Tellez in the fifth inning, allowing ex-mate Willy Adames to go from first to third base and later score on a hard single by Andrew McCutchen to put the Brewers up 3-2.
“Probably didn’t execute pitches deep in counts like he would want to,” Cash said. “A couple hit by pitch with two strikes. Then his last batter, that ball gets away and turns from first and second to first and third and it’s a little bit different scoring opportunity for them.”
• Ryan Thompson, who had made 15 consecutive scoreless appearances, took over for Yarbrough and allowed two run-scoring hits in the fifth.
Thompson said he was done in by a combination of execution and pitch selection, noting McCutchen hit the first sinker he had thrown high all year, and that Kolten Wong hit a cutter in a 1-2 count for a two-run double.
“The majority of that inning I threw a lot of good pitches,” Thompson said. “I think the two worst pitches were the two that got hit.”
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• Siri laced a ball in the right-centerfield gap that scored a run and snapped an 0-for-12 skid in the seventh inning, but he tried to stretch it to a triple and was nabbed by strong-armed ex-Ray Hunter Renfroe for the second out, all but killing the rally.
Siri said he was going for third all the way and felt he would make it. “I know I’m fast, I’ve got some speed and initially right as soon as I hit it, I knew I was going to go for third,” he said, adding that with a lesser throw he would have been safe.
Said Cash: “Just can’t make those mistakes.”
Adding to the Rays’ bad night, David Peralta got robbed of a home run in the second inning on a spectacular leaping catch at the wall by centerfielder Tyrone Taylor.
Diaz, who acknowledged on Sunday that he was scared about the potential for paranormal activity at the supposedly haunted team Hotel, was greeted with an infobox on the American Family Field video board that read: “Terrified of seeing a ghost at the Pfister Hotel.”
His third-inning response: A 421-foot homer, with an exit velocity of 106.7 mph, that snapped his career worst 0-for-21 streak and, for the moment, tied the score 2-2.
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