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Rays continue their slide with extra-inning defeat against Philadelphia

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For a month, they have been among baseball’s worst teams.

Are there any signs of the Tampa Bay Rays breaking out?

Go back to last June 23, if you will. The Rays were 41-32, two games ahead in the AL East. Since then, however, Tampa Bay has lost 17 of 24 games and, for the time being, in fourth place in the division. The latest loss, 5-4 to Philadelphia in 10 innings, meant the Rays dropped the series to the Phillies, the worst team in baseball, although Philadelphia is 5-1 since the all-star break.

The Rays fell behind quickly Wednesday, giving up two runs in the first. But Jake Odorizzi settled down and held Philadelphia to the two runs over five innings. A home run by Logan Forsythe in the seventh tied the game at 4-4.

In the 10th, the Phillies scored the winning run after Dominic Brown from Pasco singled to left. He was bunted to second by Carlos Ruiz but pitcher Brad Boxberger neglected to throw to get the lead runner. Odubel Herrara singled in the winning run on a 2-2 pitch with two out.

The Rays had a decent afternoon hitting the ball with 13 hits, but they struggled to get runners home. In a three inning stretch, Tampa Bay left five men in scoring position.

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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