Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

Angels drub Tampa Bay Rays after Steven Souza benched for not hustling

in Sports/Top Headlines by

It was a big enough gaffe for Tampa Bay’s Steven Souza to be pulled from the game.

It was not big enough, evidently, for manager Kevin Cash to talk about after a 13-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

Cash pulled Souza from the game in the fourth inning, just after Souza had tripled and scored. Souza had been slow to get out of the batter’s box.

“You know what, there are issues that happen in a team that we address in-house,” Cash said. “We’ll keep in-house and we’ll move on from there.”

Cash said “no message” was being sent.

“I think the bottom line is that I play hard but right there I didn’t play very hard,” Souza said. “I got caught slipping and took for granted a routine play. I got to third, but I could have easily scored if I was running hard. It’s a bit embarrassing, it’s not how this team runs. It’s not how we want our identity to be and I’m not proud of it. If you go watch the video, I’m not even at first base yet and that’s not in my DNA. That’s not how I want to play this game.”

It was just one more negative in a 20-game slide that has left the Rays firmly entrenched in fifth place. The Rays have only won three games of those 20. It was the third time in the last six games the Rays have given up double-digit runs. The pitching staff has a 6.35 ERA (173-IP, 122-ER) over this 3-17 stretch, compared to a 4.03 ERA before it. The bullpen has a 9.26 ERA (57.1-IP, 59-ER), compared to a 3.63 ERA before it.

“The issue of the night was getting the lead and not being able to find that shut-down inning,” Cash said. “As far as (Odorizzi0, he looked really crisp in the 1st inning.”

Pitcher Jake Odorizzi gave up nine hits and seven runs in 5 1/3 innings. The bullpen gave up six more in the ninth inning.

“It’s just frustrating,” Odorizzi said. “I’m not throwing how I’m capable of doing. We had the lead and gave it right back. That’s on me. I’m accountable for it. Nobody is more frustrated than me with my performances this entire season. I’m just going to work in between starts and get back to where I should be.

“It starts with starting pitching. We just need consistent performances. Matt did a great job yesterday, I did a bad job today. It all starts with us. …It falls on us to go set the tone. Our offense has been doing pretty good scoring runs for us and we just haven’t done a good job of holding it.”

The Angels got two home runs from C.J. Cron.

Today, Drew Smyly throws against Jered Weaver.




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

Latest from Sports

Go to Top