ST. PETERSBURG -- There were home runs and hits and even a hit with runners in scoring positions. Two of them, actually.
The Tampa Bay Rays offense showed up Thursday.
The pitching? Not so much.
The losing streak reached a very imperfect 10 with an 11-6 loss to the Miami Marlins at Tropicana Field thanks to an unusual leaky bullpen.
Ten losses? In a row?
Who could have seen this coming when the Rays broke spring training back in March fully confident of playing deep into October?
“I don’t think any of us could to be honest with you,” Jake Odorizzi said. “It’s a tough time in here.”
The Rays have the worst record in baseball. The last time that happened was April 19, 2011 when they were 1-8.
The last time it happened on a regular occurrence was back in 2007 when they were the Devil Rays.
“It’s almost to the point where it’s ridiculous,” Matt Joyce said. “We’re not a bad team. We’re really not. We have some great players who have some tremendous talent. It just seems like we have not been on the same page.”
Odorizzi allowed four runs on seven hits in five-plus innings. He allowed five straight two-out hits in the fourth inning that produced three runs and put the Marlins ahead 3-1.
But the Rays rallied. They tied the score at 3-3 in the fifth on solo home runs by Kevin Kiermaier and Ben Zobrist.
Manager Joe Maddon went to his bullpen after Casey McGehee doubled off the top of the all in right-center field to start the sixth. Enter Jake McGee, who hadn’t allowed a run in 15 straight outings and had retired the last 21 batters he faced.
McGee was tagged for two runs on three hits.
The Rays got two runs back in the bottom of the inning on a run-scoring triple by Joyce and an RBI, pinch-hit single by Jerry Sands that snapped a team-wide 0-for-34 slump with runners in scoring position.
But Brad Boxberger allowed three more runs in the seventh inning, with the big hit being a two-run line drive into the left field seats by Giancarlo Stanton. The Marlins put the game away in the ninth inning when Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer off Josh Lueke.
A 10-game losing streak? Kind of tough to fathom.
“It’s very difficult,” Maddon said. “There’s teams you can be on where you can almost understand it, that it could happen. But I know Boston just went through the same thing and I’m sure they said the same thing. This team is too good for that. There’s too much talent out there to go through this particular moment.”
The Rays have lost on a walk-off throwing error and on a walk-off triple. They lost 1-0 on a bases-loaded walk. They have lost four straight series.
“We haven’t been able to get over the hump, but when we do I think we’ll get on that roll where we start going and get that taste of winning again,” Odorizzi said. “It will be a lot more friendly environment in here.”
This is the longest skid since losing 11 straight in 2009. The team record, by the way, is 15.
“It’s a funny game, man,” Joyce said. “It’s something that’ll drive you nuts, make you pull your hair out at night if you think about it too much. But at the same time for us, we have to know that we are a good team, and you know everybody’s here for a reason, and they picked these guys with the mindset of making the World Series and winning the thing. I think at some point it has to turn, and I just hope it’s (tonight.)”