Things are going so badly for the Tampa Bay Rays’ bullpen these days that they turned to an infielder Friday night.
The Rays, being bashed by the Detroit Tigers, let infielder Taylor Motter finished the game up. And at least Motter kept the baseball inside the park, as opposed to other Rays’ pitchers who gave up a pair of three-run homers to Victor Martinez.
The Tigers, who scored eight runs in the ninth on Thursday night, scored 10 on 14 hits. The Rays scored twice in the ninth and had only four hits.
The Rays are 2-14 over their last 16 games (since June 16). The bullpen has a 9.74 ERAover that span and has allowed runs in 15 of those 16 games.
“I think the bullpen right now is in a rut,” said manager Kevin Cash. “The home runs are beating us up, especially when they’re coming with guys on base. You give up two three-run homers, you’re making it really difficult to win games and you’re making it really difficult to get back in the ballgame, so somehow we’ve got to prevent a little bit of both—the baserunners and also the home run. We need to make some better pitches. We’re just not.”
Cameron Maybin and James McCann each had three hits for the Tigers.
The Rays are now 33-46. Drew Smyly fell to 2-9, giving up four earned runs in six innings.
“He just said to go get loose in the cage, and if they needed me I was ready,” Motter said. “It was just a one-time thing, and who knows if it’s going to happen again. I got out there and got an out, so I did what I needed to do. You just hope you don’t go out in a game like that. We’re losing big-time, and you hate to see a game like that get away from us.”
Today, Blake Snell pitches against Justin Verlander.