Rays manager Kevin Cash summed up both games in two sentences,
We had some opportunities, and maybe a little uncharacteristically, because we value and trust our bullpen so much. We didn’t quite get it done today.
Both games are recapped (in some capacity) below.
For the fourth time in five road games, the Rays fell in walk-off fashion. This time the Rays lost in grand-slam fashion by a score of 9-5, after Brad Boxberger allowed three batters to reach after getting the first out of the inning. He then gave up the slam to rookie Paulo Orlando.
For his part, Boxberger said there were times he didn’t know where was ball was going, and the homer was on change-up.
However, as the saying goes, you can’t win games if you don’t score runs — and the team had an opportunity to plate more than their five runs in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings against Chris Young and a Royals bullpen. Compound that with a second frame when Matt Moore, who lacked command throughout the course of his outing, gave up two runs with two outs. In that inning, Moore walked one and hit a pair of Royals — Drew Butera and Alex Gordon.
The Royals scored four two-out runs in the sixth inning, breaking a 1-1 tie en route to a 7-1 lashing of the Rays. The victory completed a sweep of a double-header as Tampa Bay has now dropped 13 of its last 16 games.
The Rays had more than their share of chances to tag Edinson Volquez in the front two innings. The dreadlocked one, John Jaso, hit a lead-off double the first, and Logan Forsythe did the same in the following inning. Yet, in neither case could the Rays advance the runner. Jaso was able to put the Rays on the board in the third with a solo homer to right (his first of the season).
However, that was all the Rays could muster against Volquez and the Royals’ bullpen. Tampa Bay went 0-8 wRISP against Volquez, and a combined 1-18 in the twin bill. Compare that with the Royals who went 8-24 wRISP.
After Volquez, Brandon Finnegan, Luke Hochevar and Ryan Madon held the Rays hitless over the final four innings.
Kansas City tied the game in the fifth inning. Matt Andriese, who allowed just three singles and a walk over the first four innings, gave up a walk to number nine hitter Jarrod Dyson, and he promptly swiped second. Andriese was able to strike Alcides Escobar out, but Alex Gordon followed with a bloop hit to shallow centerfield to plate a run and tie the game. The righty walked Kendrys Morales, and Rays skipper Kevin Cash called upon Everett Teaford to face Eric Hosmer. The lefty got Hosmer to bounce back to the mound to keep the game tied at one.
Yet the Royals rallied with one out in the sixth, and it all started when Brandon Gomes hit Paulo Orlando with a pitch. Gomes got Omar Infante to ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, however, Chestor Cuthbert singled to center — moving Infante into scoring position. Dyson, who scored the tying run an inning earlier, walked to load the bases, and then Alcides Escobar doubled in three runs after an 11-pitch battle with the Rays reliever. Gordon extended the lead on an RBI single to left-center off Alex Colome, who pitched 2-1/3 innings in relief. El Coballo gave up a two-run double to Gordon in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.
The New What Next
Chris Archer will get the ball for Tampa Bay, opposite of RHP Jeremy Guthrie. Despite 6-2/3 innings of scoreless ball against the Yankees on Friday, he came away with a no-decision. Guthrie has been tough at home of late, posting a 2.01 ERA over his previous five starts at Kaufman Stadium. He is 2-1 in that span and has held opponents to a .195 average. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 7/8/15 Starting Lineup
— The Rays designated Everett Teaford for assignment after the second game of the double header, and reinstated Andrew Bellatti.
— Brad Boxberger became the eighth Rays pitcher to give up a walk-off grand slam on Tuesday afternoon.
- May 3, 1998 Roberto Hernandez at CLE (Sandy Alomar)
- August 14, 2000 Billy Taylor at BOS (Rico Brogna)
- May 16, 2001 Esteban Yan at KC (Joe Randa)
- August 8, 2006 Seth McClung at SEA (Richie Sexson)
- September 6, 2008 Troy Percival at TOR (Gregg Zaun)
- April 18, 2013 Brandon Gomes at BAL (Matt Wieters)
- April 25, 2014 Grant Balfour at CWS (Jose Abreu)
- July 7, 2015 Brad Boxberger at KC (Paulo Orlando)
— First baseman Casey Gillaspie, the Rays top pick in 2014 who was recently promoted to the Stone Crabs, will miss about eight weeks with a fracture in his fifth metacarpal (pinky finger) of his left hand. Gillaspie had 17 homers between the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Charlotte Stone Crabs.