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Rays’ offensive woes continue in loss to Cleveland Indians

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At any moment, a perfect game may break out against them.

On any night, they stand a chance of being no-hit.

Ah, the poor Tampa Bay Rays. The hitless wonders.

It happened again in Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The Rays simply couldn’t mount enough offense to score anyone. For the third time in six games, the other team carried a perfect game into the sixth inning. The Rays fell to 2-6 on their current homestand, and once again, scored only long after the game had been decided.

The Rays had only two hits, and frankly, no explanations for an offense that has suddenly turned inept.

“Well, obviously, we’re not getting any hits,” said Evan Longoria, whose average fell to .275. “It’s frustrating, it’s a frustrating time right now. We’re making it tough on the pitching staff right now. But we haven’t buried ourselves. We have the ballclub to win. We have all the pieces. Offensively, we’ll figure out a way.”

It would be easier, pointed out outfielder Steven Souza Jr. if Steven Souza Jr. would come through a little more often.

“A lot of the responsibility falls on me,” said Souza, who is hitting .212. “It’s unacceptable the way I’ve been at the dish. It seems like I’m not coming through in situations. I’m going to get better. I don’t think the losses all fall on me, but I do think I’m supposed to drive in runs, and that’s not happening now.”

The Indians managed only seven hits themselves, and they only got two of them against Rays’ starter Erasmo Ramirez. But Ramirez left the game in the sixth, although he had given up only a home run to Jason Kipness. However, the Indians broke the game open with three runs in the seventh and two in the eighth.

The Rays will send Alex Colome to the mound tonight to face Cleveland’s Carlos Carrasco, who goes for his 10th win.

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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