The Tampa Bay Rays are pitching better.
It isn’t helping.
The Rays had their fourth straight quality start Monday night, but the Kansas City Royals blew the game open with a four-run eighth inning in a 6-2 victory. The Rays lost their eighth game in their last 10 and fell to five games below .500 for the first time this season. The Rays are in the cellar in the American League East.
Matt Andriese went seven innings, the fourth straight game the Rays have had a starter go at least seven innings. In those four games, however, Tampa Bay is 1-3.
Tampa Bay had only five hits in the game, all singles. They also made three errors in a ragged performance.
“We’re not a team that is going to separate a lot of games,” manager Kevin Cash said. “We’ve got to play pretty clean baseball. Those miscues are starting to show up. We have to clean it up defensively.”
Consider the Royals’ second run. Jarrod Dyson singled to center, but Desmond Jennings bobbled the ball, allowing him to go to second. Dyson then stole third base, and Hank Conger’s throw sailed into left field.
In the eighth, Lorenzo Cain broke a 2-2 lead with a single to right. Eric Hosmer followed with a three-run homer to break it open.
Cash didn’t take great solace in the Rays’ fourth straight good start. “To be fair,” he said, “they have to do it more than once through the rotation.”
The Rays play the Royals tonight with Drew Smyly on the mound.