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Punchless offense leads Rays to yet another defeat against Los Angeles Angels

in Peter/Top Headlines by

The longer the Tampa Bay Rays hang around, the more likely it is that something bad is going to happen to them.

Take Thursday afternoon, for instance. Rookie Blake Snell threw five shutout innings and allowed only three hits, the same as the Los Angeles Angels’ Hector Santiago. But over the final four innings, the Angels pulled out a 5-1 victory with the last three runs coming off the bullpen.

The Rays struck out 13 times and had only five hits.

Snell fell to 1-4 on the season.

“For his sake, that might have been one of his best outings,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “I really think we’re all pleased with the way Blake made a commitment with commanding the ball, commanding the fastball. He had a good changeup going that he was throwing for strikes. I think Jim Hickey even referenced that after three innings, he had led off every batter with a strike, and that’s the kind of intent that we’re looking for out of him, because we know if he gets ahead in his counts, his stuff will work just fine up here.”

Tampa Bay, now next-to-last in the American League, now trails the Orioles by 15 ½ games. They are playing .400 baseball.

The Rays scored only when Brad Miller homered in the eighth.

“I think we’ve been very honest and up front: We are frustrated,” Cash said. “We aren’t pleased with the way things are going, and the only way you get out of that is to start winning some ballgames. We’re going to Boston now. We’ve got three big games up there before the break, and we play well, some really competitive baseball against the Red Sox, and it should be a good challenge for us to get going before the break.”

Former Tampa Bay player Yunel Escobar had three hits for the Angels.

The Rays now visit the Red Sox. Chris Archer pitches tonight.

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

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