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Rays lose another game after an inability to get tying run home from third base

The game was right there, 90 feet away.

All the Tampa Bay Rays had to do Monday night was close the distance, and they could have won another ballgame.

Instead, the runner was lost on third. And the game was lost in Colorado.

The Rays fell, 7-4, to the Colorado Rockies Monday night to return to their losing ways. But the Rays tried their best to come from behind in this one, scoring three times in the seventh to come within a run. But in the seventh, the team got Nick Franklin to third with one out. He stayed there. In the eighth, the team got Evan Longoria to third with none out. He stayed there.

Instead, with five chances, the Rays failed. Four of those were strikeouts, including Jason Motte striking out the side in the eighth (Corey Dickerson, Logan Morrison and Steven Souza) following Longoria’s triple.

“We’ve got to find a way to get those guys in,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “The guys know that. It just didn’t happen.”

The Rays had only six hits, although three of them were triples. Two of those were by Longoria.

The Rays have now lost 25 of their last 29 games. Only four of the 25 losses have been by one run. Overall, the Rays are 35-57.

Drew Smyly took the loss for Tampa Bay, falling to 2-11 on the season. Blake Snell pitches tonight for the Rays.

Rays finally win another game as Evan Longoria homers twice against Orioles

The Tampa Bay Rays are hot.

They have won one in a row, and two of their last 14, and four of their last 27 games. They have now won one of their last 20 games against first-place teams. Evan Longoria is coming off a two-home run game. The bullpen is on a scoreless streak.

Everyone together: Wheee!

Things finally came together for the Rays in Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays managed only six hits, but four of them were homers (two by Longoria and one each by Brad Miller and Oswaldo Arcia, and Tampa Bay finally managed its’ 35th win (against 56 losses). It puts them within 18 ½ games of the Orioles.

“Obviously, it feels really good to get a win,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “This club needed it. (I’m) happy for the guys. I thought Odo really set the tone in the 1st inning—we were 2nd and 3rd, three pitches into the ballgame, no outs—one comes across but I thought it was an outstanding job to limit the damage and then he kind of put it on cruise control. Today might’ve been the best day we’ve seen that fastball up. He got a ton of chase on it and it didn’t seem like their guys could adjust to get on top of it. Outstanding by Odo.”

Longoria hit home runs of 419 feet and 441 feet,

“Longo’s ball, the second one, I would think that’s one of the farther balls he’s hit here,” Cash said. “[Arcia], the opposite-field shot, you don’t see too many guys do that. Miller also. We had a lot of guys that came in and contributed. It was great to see.Good overall win, something to go on a happy flight to Colorado. Our starting pitching did a really nice job this series. We had three really solid starts. That trend is going to continue. The thing that we need to do offensively is keep giving them some support to give them a little breathing room.”

Odorizzi brought his record to 4-5 with the win.

“Yeah, it is a good start,” Longoria said. “I know it took us two games after the second half, but the two games prior to today we played well. Our pitching staff and our starters went out and set the tempo and got us on the right track for the second half. Hopefully, today we can carry that momentum on.

The Rays open a three-game series with Colorado today. Drew Smyly is on the mound for Tampa Bay.

Rays fall once again despite a stellar pitching performance by Matt Moore

The Tampa Bay Rays gave up only two runs Saturday.

They surrendered only seven hits. They shut out the Baltimore Orioles after the second inning.

But, yeah, the Rays lost again. Of course they did.

The Rays dropped a 2-1 decision to the Baltimore Orioles, the 19th straight game the Rays have lost to a first-place team. Overall, Tampa Bay has lost 24 of its last 27 games. They have also lost eight straight and 12 of their last 13.

This time, Tampa Bay managed only four hits – two by Steven Souza – in the loss. Matt Moore went 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two runs in the loss. Moore has now pitched at least six innings in eight straight starts. He was beaten when he gave up a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy in the second inning.

“Matt was the story today,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I think it’s fairly obvious, Matt Moore was pretty outstanding again. He gave us every opportunity to win. It stinks when you lose a ballgame on one pitch. That sums up how it’s going for us right now, but you can’t take that away from Matt; he was really good.

“Unfortunately, their guy (Chris Tillman) was really good, too. You saw two pitchers that have had a lot of success, and they get some strikeouts quite a bit. It was low-strikeout tonight. You saw two guys that were efficient in making good pitches.”

Moore felt he pitched well in the defeat.

“I just feel like I’m pitching to my capabilities,” Moore said. “Being able to string together back-to-back innings where we retired three in a row, I think that’s something to hang my hat on most these days, just being able to get some quick innings, keep my pitch count on track.”

“Trying to link it up so everybody’s on the same page, it’s kind of like football where there’s the offensive, defensive side of the foot- ball, there’s special teams, there’s a lot of parts to our team going into this skid. It’s easy to look at things that are going wrong and kind of put your finger on them, but you know we’re trying. It’s something, the guys are getting to the field at the same time, putting the same work in. We’re just waiting for tomorrow to get here.”

The Rays try again today with Jake Odorizzi on the mound against Dylan Bundy.

Rays start the second half the same as the first, by losing another game

Yeah, they’re still the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays resumed their season Friday night, and they resumed their dismal play. This time, the Rays lost 4-3 to the Baltimore Orioles, their 18th straight loss to a first-place team. John Schoop’s eighth-inning home run broke a 3-3 tie to lead to the loss.

For the Rays, it was the 23rd loss in 26 games, and it lowered the team’s record to 34-55 on the season. Tampa Bay had a 3-1 lead but could not hold it.

“I liked the way Arch competed,” Manager Kevin Cash said. “I thought he threw the ball really well to the end. You do feel for him because you want these guys to build off some successes, and I think Arch can pull plenty of positives from the outing. You take away a pitch here and there and he had a really good outing. Not at one point did he ever have that glitch where he lost command of the strike zone. It seemed like he was in attack mode the entire time, and he should feel really good about that.”

Cash said he would have replaced Archer in the seventh if anyone had reached base. Instead, he wanted him to pitch against the first two right-handers in the Orioles lineup.

“I felt that Arch was the best option there to get those two righties. I still feel that way, he just left a pitch up — a slider up to Schoop.”

Archer took his 13th win against only four victories, giving up 7 hits and four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.

“I felt like I threw the ball well, but not well enough,” Archer said. “I did get deep. At the end of the day, if I could have one pitch back it would be the second pitch I threw to Schoop right there (in the 8th). The other stuff—they’re a good hitting team, they battled, put the ball in play, but it happens. And if I continue to build on that outing I think I’m gonna continue to put the team in a position to win every single night, and that’s the overall goal.”

Archer said he felt good in the eighth, not that it mattered.

“It doesn’t matter how I felt, I didn’t get the job done.

“I didn’t execute a pitch. I left a cookie out there for a guy with a lot of power, and he made the most of it.”

The Rays had a chance in the ninth inning after Brad Miller doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. Evan Longoria was walked, however, and Zach Britton struck out Logan Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. to end the game.

Matt Moore pitches for Tampa Bay today against Chris Tillman.

Rays ready to try it again as baseball’s second half gets under way

You know how some teams hate to see the season stop because things are going so well. This pitcher is hot; that hitter is on a streak?
Well, this isn’t like that.

You know how some teams can’t wait for the season’s second half of the season to start so they can take up where they left off? So they pack the house with fans eager to see their energy and their passion.

This isn’t like that, either.

Instead, the Tampa Bay Rays will try to cut into the 20-game lead that the Baltimore Orioles have established in the AL East. It is a deficit that has happened with frightening speed. The Rays were only 5 ½ games back on June 15 before losing 22 of 25 games.

— It is a Rays team that has struggled. For instance, catcher Curt Casali is hitting only .166 … but it was the other catcher, Hank Conger, who was sent down (he was hitting .194).

— Could the Rays have two 20-game losers? Pitcher Chris Archer is 4-12. Teammate Drew Smyly is 2-10.

— Center fielder Kevin Kiermaier will be welcomed back this year, even though he’s hitting only .236. Kiermaier has played in only 38 games. The Rays were 20-20 when Kiermaier was hurt.

— Right-handed pitchers have been winless for the Rays for a month. Matt Moore has two wins and Blake Snell one in the team’s recent slump.

— The team’s record is its worst since 2005 (28-61, .315)

— The Rays’ starting pitchers have an ERA of 5.99 during the slump. The bullpen has an ERA of 7.84.

— The hitters have a league-worst average of .239, league worst slugging percentage of .389 and a major league-worst on-base percentage of .286.

— The Rays welcome relief pitcher Kevin Jepson back after Minnesota released Jepson.

Archer starts for the Rays against Yovani Gallardo.

It’s no surprise that the Tampa Bay Rays are struggling at the All-Star break

The major league All-Star game will proceed without the Tampa Bay Rays.

Without any arguments for their players, either.

Oh, relief pitcher Alex Colome made it to the game with 19 saves this season. And Evan Longoria, hitting .289 with 19 homers, was eliminated in the voting for the final slot. Hey, you could even get a debate going in the name of second-baseman Logan Forsythe, who is hitting .285.

But, really, after that, all arguments are closed.  No one is even close to being an all-star. Which shows you that it wasn’t much of a surprise that the Rays finished on a 3-22 swoon. The Rays are bad, well, because they deserve to be bad.

Start with the pitching, where Chris Archer is 4-12 and Drew Smyly is 2-10 and Blake Snell is 1-4. By those standards, Matt Moore (5-6) and Jake Odorizzi (3-5) don’t look that bad.

Then there is the team’s catching, where Hank Conger has an average of .194 and Curt Casali has an average of .169.

How about the infield? Logan Morrison has been better lately, but he’s still at .236. Brad Miller has shown some pop, but he’s at .241. Backup shortstop Tim Beckham is at .170.

The outfield isn’t much better. Desmond Jennings is at .202 and Steven Souza is at .251 and is tied for eighth with 92 strikeouts. Kevin Kiermaier has played in only 38 games because of injury, but he’s hitting .236. Reserve Jaff Dacker is hitting .138 and Taylor Motter .188.

Also, the Rays don’t particularly play good defense, they don’t particularly run bases well and they aren’t particularly athletic.

In other words, the Rays slide (from 31-32) isn’t a surprise. It will be a surprise if the Rays manage to right themselves in the second half.

Rays close out first half with another loss, this time to former teammate David Price

It seems as if the Rays have been losing forever. They have not.

It was a less than a month ago that Tampa Bay was 31-32 and thinking about the race in the AL East. That was before 22 losses in their last 25 games sent them plunging through the division standings and solidly into last place, 20 games below .500 and searching for direction.

The Rays lost another one Sunday in their last game before the major league all-star break. Former teammate David Price shut them down with eight innings of four-hit shutout baseball, and the team lost 4-0.

“It’s sickening to think how far we’ve fallen off here,” said manager Kevin Cash. “If anything, it tells you we’re capable of being a lot better than what we are. We’ve got to show better than what we’re doing.”

Jake Odorizzi gave up three runs in the first, and the Rays never threatened. Price had 10 strikeouts against his old club. The Rays’ bullpen, however, had a successful game in the loss.

The Rays have lost six in a row and 10 of their last 11. Going into Sunday’s game, the pitching staff had a 6.04 ERA and the bullpen had an 8.18 ERA. The team has been outscored 152-78. And defensively, Tampa Bay has committed 19 errors, highest in the league.

The Rays return to action Friday with Chris Archer on the mound.

Rays nearing the bottom as their worst-ever losing streak continues

From here, you can see the bottom.

The freefall of the Tampa Bay Rays continued Saturday afternoon with a 4-1 loss to the Boston Red Sox. It was the team’s 21st loss in their last 24 games, and it brought the Rays to within 3 ½ games of the Minnesota Twins, who are last in the American League

The Rays, like most of the month, didn’t have enough going on Saturday. Matt Moore started and gave up two earned runs and two unearned. They didn’t have enough defense (Steven Souza misplayed a fly ball in center). They didn’t have enough hitting (seven hits).

“We’ve been inconsistent on defense,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “Those defensive miscues, when you’re in a down funk like this, show up. Any mstake we make, it’s allowing a run or two to get over.”

Evan Longoria and Logan Morrison had two hits each for the Rays.

It led to the team’s fifth straight loss and their 10th in 11 games.

Rick Porcello picked up his 11th win for Boston. Xander Boegarts hit a two-run homer.

The Rays finish the first part of their schedule today when Jake Odorizzi pitches against David Price.

Rays need more shutdown innings in their last loss to the Boston Red Sox

If there is anything that the worst streak in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise has shown us, it’s that they know how to fall behind.

Take Friday night’s loss (what else?) to the Boston Red Sox. The Rays fell behind in the first inning. They caught up. They fell behind again. They caught up again. They fell behind again. Why? Because that’s what losing teams do.

The Rays lost their 20th game in 23 outings Friday night, falling 6-5 to the Red Sox. That is the worst the Rays have been in the history of the franchise in 23 games.

It was the 12th loss in 16 decisions for Chris Archer, who went six innings and gave up five runs and seven hits. For the team, it dropped the Rays to eight games back…of fourth place in the AL East. Overall, they are 15 1/2 games behind.

“You want to go out there and have shutdown innings after we score,” said Archer. “It’s very tough. I’m typically better than that.”

Rays’ manager Kevin Cash agreed: “We have to find a way to get those shutdown innings. We’re very frustrated.”

It didn’t help that Archer threw first-pitch strikes to only 10 of 26 batters, or that, once again, he struggled in the first inning. For the year, Archer’s ERA is 4.66.

For the Rays, third baseman Evan Longoria, who was voted out of the All-Star game earlier in the day, went four-for-five with two RBI and a home run. Corey Dickerson and Nick Franklin also had two hits.

For Boston, David Ortiz hit a home run.

Today, the Rays’ Matt Moore faces Boston’s Rick Porcello in the team’s next-to-last game before the all-star break.

No All-Star game for Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria, fifth in voting

In the end, Evan Longoria got a pretty nice t-shirt.

He did not, however, get the final spot on the AL all-star team.

Longoria finished fifth of five players competing for the final spot on the AL roster. Toronto’s Michael Sanders won the spot with 17.7 million votes.

Following Saunders were George Springer, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler.

In the National League, Brandon Belt of the Giants got the slot. He was followed by Sterling Marte of the Pirates, Trevor Story of the Rockies, Jake Lamb of the Diamondbacks and Ryan Braun of the Brewers.

The Rays’ only all-star representative will be reliever Alex Colome.

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