The Tampa Bay Rays squandered a four-run lead and lost in extra innings last night at the Trop, 7-6. For the first time this season, Tampa Bay has dropped three straight games, and start the day three games under .500. Kansas City now is 27–8 against the Rays since 2012.
The Rays took a four-run lead in the first inning against starter Chris Young, and Evan Longoria kick-started the rally by lashing a two-out infield hit off Young that veered just left of second base. Logan Morrison followed with a two-run moon shot to right, his team-leading eighth homer of the season.
Dewayne had a pretty good idea this was getting out. pic.twitter.com/O8GFZXiMWm
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) May 10, 2017
The chronically cold Rickie Weeks Jr. actually got in on the fun too, doubling to left in front of Colby Rasmus, who was walked intentionally to put a pair on. After Weeks swiped third, Tim Beckham plated a run on an infield hit — a liner off Young’s glove that put Tampa Bay up by three. Kevin Kiermaier capped the scoring with a bloop over third, scoring Rasmus.
Rays manager Kevin Cash was tossed from the ball-game when the Royals got on the board in the third, after Jorge Bonifacio lined a ball to center for a single that skipped past Kiermaier for a two-base error — his third such gaffe over the last two games.
With Bonifacio at third, Matt Andriese balked, and Cash was thrown out after arguing the call. Cash discussed the ejection after the game with Rays Radio (below), voicing his frustration with the call from the third base umpire, as well as the overall loss.
Andriese was able to collect himself and hold Kansas City to just a run until the sixth inning, when the Royals began their slow rally to victory.
For their part, the Rays were able to push their lead to 6–3 when Brad Miller homered into the right-field corner off southpaw Travis Wood. It was Miller’s second homer this season.
Miller’s long-ball answered a two-run blast by Salvador Perez in the top of the sixth, that chased starter Matt Andriese, which answered Beckham’s RBI base hit that extended Tampa Bay’s lead to four.
Erasmo Ramirez took over the seventh and things began to go south. Ramirez relinquished a double, a walk, and a sacrifice before Tom Foley beckoned upon the services of Danny Farquhar.
The ineffectual Farquhar gave up a run on a grounder to second by Mike Moustakas, before allowing a two out single to Eric Hosmer. KC was down by just a run when the Rays’ bench coach called on Jumbo Diaz. After receiving Diaz’s fourth pitch, Jesus Sucre made a snap throw to first and picked off Hosmer to end the inning and the two-run rally. …The wolves were at bay, but only for an inning.
The Royals tied the game in the eighth when Diaz allowed an opposite field double to Perez. Alex Gordon followed with a single to center, and Kiermaier bobbled the ball, allowing Perez to score the tying run. Chase Whitley did as he’s done all season, complete the inning without incurring any other damage, keeping the score even.
Meanwhile, Alex Colome tossed a perfect ninth, and Jose Alvarado threw a pair of scoreless frames in the tenth and eleventh.
The Rays had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the eleventh, but Miller and Longoria struck out against Jake Juniz with Kevin Kiermaier at second.
As fate would have it, Kansas City took the lead against Diego Moreno, the right-hander that was just called up for Austin Pruitt on Tuesday. Mike Moustakas, the second batter of the inning, homered to right, giving the Royals a one run lead.
Kelvin Herrera worked the bottom of the frame for the save, giving Juniz the win. All told, Royals pitching held Tampa Bay scoreless over the final 6-2/3 innings, allowing just one hit over that stretch, after 11 previous hits.
The New What Next
The series continues Wednesday with Chris Archer (2-1, 3.57 ERA, 3.19 FIP) taking the mound for the Rays, opposite of former Ray Jason Hammel (1-3, 5.53 ERA, 4.01 FIP).
Archer pitched well against the Blue Jays Friday night, yet came away with a no-decision after having been victimized by Kendrys Morales in the seventh inning. Still, the Rays’ ace was overpowering, notching 11 strikeouts (also notching 13 swinging strikes). Archer ace now has one loss and three no-decisions over his last four trips to the mound in spite of two quality starts and 30 strikeouts over a 25 inning stretch.
Hammel had his best outing of the season against Cleveland on Friday, tossing six innings of one-run ball, while scattering just three hits. It was his first victory as a Royal, ending a six-start skid dating back to September of last season. Reporters have noted that he worked exclusively out of the stretch, ditching the windup in hopes of simplifying his delivery and achieving better results.
It’s something I had experimented with on the side and just committed to it. In the windup, there are a lot of pieces that have to go right, a lot of moving parts and the timing is going to be everything. With the stretch, everything is up and down, two movements up and down and you’re going to the plate.
The former Ray is 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA against Tampa Bay over six career starts. Key matchups: Corey Dickerson (1-3), Brad Miller (2-5, HR, RBI), Logan Morrison (1-2, HR, RBI), Colby Rasmus (6-19, 2 HR, 4 RBI), Rickie Weeks Jr. (3-8, 2B, BB)
You can read about the series here, and I’ll post the starting lineup upon availability.
Rays 5/10/17 Starting Lineup
— Matt Duffy made his first rehab start for the Charlotte Stone Crabs, going 1-for-3 at the plate and playing four innings at short. No balls were hit in his direction.
Duffy admitted afterward that he’s going to be sore for a while, although that’s to be expected with any type of injury, much less surgery.
He will take Wednesday off and play again on Thursday in another four or five inning outing.
The goal is every other day for the first three or four games. We’ve got a couple of built in off days to cut stuff out or add a little extra.
— A very telling stat with respect to the Rays recent found woes:
— Inside Edge (@InsideEdgeScout) May 10, 2017