The Rays dropped their second consecutive game, following a blown save, 4-3 loss to the Red Sox Thursday night at Tropicana Field.
In short, Fernando Rodney looked horrible, directly contributing to the loss. Rodney walked the bases loaded in the ninth, subsequently giving up the go-ahead three-run double to Will Middlebrooks, handing Boston a one run lead they’d never relinquish. He could not find the zone to save his life, throwing 35 pitches in 2/3 of an inning, only 16 pitches going for strikes. Rodney’s crap-fest followed an excellent 6.1 IP/1 R/1 ER/3 H/1 BB/6 K outing by Alex Cobb. Both McGee and Peralta — who came on in relief of Cobb — looked great as well, combining for 1-2/3 innings if no hit ball.
Offensively speaking, the Rays could only put three runs on the board even though 15 men reached base safely on seven hits and eight walks. While Tampa Bay was able to knock Felix Doubront out of the game after five-plus innings and 104 pitches (54 for strikes), he — like Lester the night before — was able to make the big pitch when necessary, stranding seven Rays on the bags.
Tampa Bay ultimately went 2-10 wRISP, stranding 12 base runners, while scarcely taking advantage of a pair of bases loaded opportunities. And though the Rays had a number of two-out opportunities to plate runs, only Ryan Roberts could take advantage, blasting a solo shot to left-center in the second inning.
It just goes to show, if Longo, Zobrist, and Loney aren’t clicking — they combined to go 1-11 with a pair of walks Thursday, while going 2-12 Wednesday night — Tampa Bay isn’t nearly as consistent — or potent — as it is otherwise. Hitting and scoring with constancy are contagious. Then again, so are not hitting or scoring with constancy.
The Rays ended their home-stand with a 6-4 record; not bad, but not nearly as good as it could — or should — have been. They’ll start a six game road trip in Baltimore Friday; one which will take them through Toronto before returning home to face the Yankees on May 24th.