There for a while, Erasmo Ramirez couldn’t help but win baseball games.
If the Rays won, it was more often than not Ramirez who got the victory. He won six of his first seven games, and he had a 1.13 ERA. It was a Ramirez world.
Since then, however, Ramirez has struggled. He had a 4.81 ERA in his next 17 appearances.
Then came a forgettable Monday night in a 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians. Ramirez entered the game in the eighth with the game tied at 4, but gave up a solo home run to Francisco Lindor and a two-run shot by Jose Uribe. It led to the Rays’ fifth straight defeat.
“We are concerned,” Manager Kevin Cash said. “Erasmo has been a part of a lot of our wins. He’s pitched great. He’s in a rut himself, as well as fatigue. We have to do what we can to get him fresh. “
Tampa Bay managed only five hits on the night, two of them by Desmond Jennings. Evan Longoria and Brad Miller had home runs.
Drew Smyly pitched OK, giving up four earned runs in seven innings.
Lindor had three hits for the Indians.
Injuries continued to plague the Rays. Mahtook is out for 8-10 weeks with a broken hand after being struck by a pitch. The diagnosis wasn’t as clear on Steve Pearce, who grabbed his hamstring later.
“That’s not ideal,” Mahtook said. “It’s not anything you can plan for. It’s a lot of bad luck. Hopefully, some of those guys will come back pretty quick.”
Rookie Blake Snell starts for the Rays today against Corey Kluber.