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Rays start the second half the same as the first, by losing another game

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Yeah, they’re still the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays resumed their season Friday night, and they resumed their dismal play. This time, the Rays lost 4-3 to the Baltimore Orioles, their 18th straight loss to a first-place team. John Schoop’s eighth-inning home run broke a 3-3 tie to lead to the loss.

For the Rays, it was the 23rd loss in 26 games, and it lowered the team’s record to 34-55 on the season. Tampa Bay had a 3-1 lead but could not hold it.

“I liked the way Arch competed,” Manager Kevin Cash said. “I thought he threw the ball really well to the end. You do feel for him because you want these guys to build off some successes, and I think Arch can pull plenty of positives from the outing. You take away a pitch here and there and he had a really good outing. Not at one point did he ever have that glitch where he lost command of the strike zone. It seemed like he was in attack mode the entire time, and he should feel really good about that.”

Cash said he would have replaced Archer in the seventh if anyone had reached base. Instead, he wanted him to pitch against the first two right-handers in the Orioles lineup.

“I felt that Arch was the best option there to get those two righties. I still feel that way, he just left a pitch up — a slider up to Schoop.”

Archer took his 13th win against only four victories, giving up 7 hits and four earned runs in 7 1/3 innings.

“I felt like I threw the ball well, but not well enough,” Archer said. “I did get deep. At the end of the day, if I could have one pitch back it would be the second pitch I threw to Schoop right there (in the 8th). The other stuff—they’re a good hitting team, they battled, put the ball in play, but it happens. And if I continue to build on that outing I think I’m gonna continue to put the team in a position to win every single night, and that’s the overall goal.”

Archer said he felt good in the eighth, not that it mattered.

“It doesn’t matter how I felt, I didn’t get the job done.

“I didn’t execute a pitch. I left a cookie out there for a guy with a lot of power, and he made the most of it.”

The Rays had a chance in the ninth inning after Brad Miller doubled and went to third on a wild pitch. Evan Longoria was walked, however, and Zach Britton struck out Logan Morrison and Steven Souza Jr. to end the game.

Matt Moore pitches for Tampa Bay today against Chris Tillman.

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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