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Rays, Matt Moore lose to the Phillies, the worst team in baseball

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They didn’t pitch very well. They didn’t hit very well. They didn’t field very well.

Except for that, things went swimmingly for the Tampa Bay Rays Monday night.

The Rays lost to the worst team in baseball, dropping a 5-3 decision to the Philadelphia Phillies and pitcher David Buchanan, who had entered the game 0-5.

But the Rays collected only six hits Monday night. Starting pitcher Matt Moore continued to look as if he was trying to find himself after last season’s Tommy John surgery and lasted only 4 2/3 innings and surrendered four runs. The Rays’ James Loney committed two errors.

For the Rays, it was a familiar set of problems. It starts with the rotation. If it is not sharp enough to get through five innings, maybe six, and get to the bullpen with a lead, the Rays are in trouble. And once they fall behind, they simply do not hit well enough to dig themselves out of a hole.

Grady Sizemore had two of the Rays’ six hits Monday night, but he was optioned to Durham after the game to make room for Steven Souza Jr.

The Rays have lost 18 of their last 25, and they have fallen from a first-place lead to fourth in the AL East. Tonight, they turn to Nathan Karns to stop the slide

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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