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Rays need more shutdown innings in their last loss to the Boston Red Sox

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If there is anything that the worst streak in the history of the Tampa Bay Rays franchise has shown us, it’s that they know how to fall behind.

Take Friday night’s loss (what else?) to the Boston Red Sox. The Rays fell behind in the first inning. They caught up. They fell behind again. They caught up again. They fell behind again. Why? Because that’s what losing teams do.

The Rays lost their 20th game in 23 outings Friday night, falling 6-5 to the Red Sox. That is the worst the Rays have been in the history of the franchise in 23 games.

It was the 12th loss in 16 decisions for Chris Archer, who went six innings and gave up five runs and seven hits. For the team, it dropped the Rays to eight games back…of fourth place in the AL East. Overall, they are 15 1/2 games behind.

“You want to go out there and have shutdown innings after we score,” said Archer. “It’s very tough. I’m typically better than that.”

Rays’ manager Kevin Cash agreed: “We have to find a way to get those shutdown innings. We’re very frustrated.”

It didn’t help that Archer threw first-pitch strikes to only 10 of 26 batters, or that, once again, he struggled in the first inning. For the year, Archer’s ERA is 4.66.

For the Rays, third baseman Evan Longoria, who was voted out of the All-Star game earlier in the day, went four-for-five with two RBI and a home run. Corey Dickerson and Nick Franklin also had two hits.

For Boston, David Ortiz hit a home run.

Today, the Rays’ Matt Moore faces Boston’s Rick Porcello in the team’s next-to-last game before the all-star break.

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

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