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Rays close out first half with another loss, this time to former teammate David Price

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It seems as if the Rays have been losing forever. They have not.

It was a less than a month ago that Tampa Bay was 31-32 and thinking about the race in the AL East. That was before 22 losses in their last 25 games sent them plunging through the division standings and solidly into last place, 20 games below .500 and searching for direction.

The Rays lost another one Sunday in their last game before the major league all-star break. Former teammate David Price shut them down with eight innings of four-hit shutout baseball, and the team lost 4-0.

“It’s sickening to think how far we’ve fallen off here,” said manager Kevin Cash. “If anything, it tells you we’re capable of being a lot better than what we are. We’ve got to show better than what we’re doing.”

Jake Odorizzi gave up three runs in the first, and the Rays never threatened. Price had 10 strikeouts against his old club. The Rays’ bullpen, however, had a successful game in the loss.

The Rays have lost six in a row and 10 of their last 11. Going into Sunday’s game, the pitching staff had a 6.04 ERA and the bullpen had an 8.18 ERA. The team has been outscored 152-78. And defensively, Tampa Bay has committed 19 errors, highest in the league.

The Rays return to action Friday with Chris Archer on the mound.

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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