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Rays’ losing streak approaching the level of historic futility

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In 2002, the Rays lost more games in a row than the current team. They ended up losing 106 games.

In 2004, the Rays lost more games in a row. They ended up losing 91.

Now, with 11 straight losses, you have to wonder just how bad these Rays will finish.

The Tampa Bay Rays’ losing streak has taken on historic proportions. The Rays fell 13 ½ games off the AL East lead Sunday, being swept for the first time in a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles.

Only twice before have the Rays lost more consecutive games. They lost 15 in a row in 2002 and 12 in a row in 2004. The Rays have now given up 72 runs in their 11 straight losses.

Tampa Bay fell behind quickly, giving up a first-inning grand slam to Chris Davis. Also homering for the Orioles were Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo. All three came off of Drew Smyly, who gave up 10 hits and eight earned runs in five innings.

The Orioles had 17 hits in all. Adam Jones had four. Manny Machado and Schoop each had three hits.

“It’s tough,” Rays’ manager Kevin Cash said. “Losing is tough. You find out a little about each other. No one’s character is going away. We’re playing hard. We’re running balls out. We’re just not executing like we’re capable of on the mound, at the plate, even on defense.”

For the Rays, Oswaldo Arcia and Brad Miller each had three hits.

The Rays return home tonight to play the Boston Red Sox. Rookie Blake Snell will start for Tampa Bay.

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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