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.