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Tigers win again as Tampa Bay loses their 15th game in 17 decisions

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Every day feels the same. Every song sounds the same. Every loss feels the same.

That’s what it’s like for the Tampa Bay Rays, a team stuck in Grounghog Day.

The Rays – surprise, surprise – lost another game Saturday afternoon, their 15th loss in their last 17 games. It dropped the team to 14 games under .500, a two-year low. This time, it was only 3-2, and the battered bullpen didn’t give up a run. Still, the Rays lost as Blake Snell fell to the Detroit Tigers’  Justin Verlander.

“We got beat by a really good pitcher who had really good stuff today. He attacked, game plan you could kind of tell from the side he had the location to do it,” said manager Kevin Cash. “He selected some certain hitters that were willing maybe to expand up in the zone and then some that were expanding down in the zone, so he definitely made it tough. There wasn’t a ton of hard contact; the ones that were seemed to find, the atom balls (hit at-em) right at some guys.”

Each team had only five hits. The big blow for the Tigers was a home run by Ian Kinsley.

Cash said that fans have yet to see the best of pitcher Blake Snell.

“We still [have] yet to have seen the best of Blake,” Cash said. “He’s given us a chance to win, there’s no doubt; but the way we’re playing right now, it’s tough to overcome some of those runs. … There’s some positives with Blake. Generally you see a young pitcher that doesn’t have good stuff, doesn’t have command and just implodes. He’s not doing that. He’s battling through a lack of command and I think that shows quite a lot about the pitcher.”

Snell agreed he has more to give.

“I would agree,” he said. “There is a lot more I have to offer. At the same time, I have to be confident in the zone, I have to pound the zone, that’s something I need to work on.”

Today, Chris Archer pitches for the Rays against Mike Pelfrey.

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Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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