Tampa Bay Rays
Win streak ends as Indians top Rays 5-0
The Tampa Bay Rays returned to Progressive Field late Saturday morning less than eight hours after they left the stadium in the wee hours of the day.
Not surprisingly there were plenty of yawns in the visitor’s clubhouse as they readied themselves for the early afternoon game against the Cleveland Indians.
Trending among the Rays was this question: How much sleep did you get?
The answer: Not enough, apparently.
The Rays managed only four hits and saw their six-game winning streak come to an end with a 5-0 loss to the Indians.
“I’m sure they were (tired), too,” Kelly Johnson said. “But we got them (Friday) night and they got us (Saturday), kind of makes sense.”
Some of that had to do with Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, who breezed through eight innings, and some had to do with designated hitter Jason Giambi, who hit a two-run homer in the second inning and drove in another run in the third with a single off Rays starter Chris Archer.
“We just got outpitched and out-Giambi’ed,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “That’s about it.”
But the Rays looked every bit the team that waited through a 4 hour, 49 minute rain delay during Friday night’s 9-2 with that ended at 2:53 a.m. Saturday’s first pitch took place only 10 hours, 13 minutes after the final out.
“(Jimenez) was good, and really our guys legitimately were tired, and I don’t blame them,” Maddon said. “I really respected their effort. Tough day to come back and play this game. We’ll get a good night's sleep come back and do well (today).”
Matt Joyce said he wasn’t so sure the lack of rest was the reason the Rays were shut out for the first time since April 14, pointing out the Indians waited through the same rain delays Friday, left the stadium at the same time Saturday morning and returned a few hours later, too.
“Generally we really couldn’t get anything going,” Joyce said. “Other than that, sometimes you just got to tip your cap. (Jimenez was) mixing his pitches, keeping everyone off balance. It was a tough day for us.”
Archer was the most-rested of all the Rays, having left Progressive Field at 9 p.m. Friday to return to the team hotel. He said he was in bed by 11:30 p.m.
But the rest didn’t help Archer command his fastball and didn’t prevent him from hanging his changeup to Giambi in the second inning and Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth. Both pitches came with a man on base, and both landed in the right field seats.
“You fall behind a good hitting team and then leave pitches up, you’re going to get banged,” Archer said. “A good hitting team got me on a day when I was a little off.”
Archer was officially recalled Saturday to take the spot in the rotation left vacant by the injured David Price. It was his season debut for the Rays and fifth career start. Archer pitched into the fifth inning and left after Nick Swisher knocked him on his back with a comebacker on his 94th pitch of the afternoon. He allowed seven hits and five runs.
“I think the true test is how do I bounce back?” Archer said. “Do I let it get to me? Or do I come back and execute pitches better the next outing?”
Maddon said there is no reason to think Archer will not make his next scheduled start.
“The stuff is there,” Maddon said. “It really comes down to commanding your pitches.”
Alex Torres, also recalled Saturday from Durham to help an exhausted bullpen, replaced Archer and pitched the final four innings. In three stints with the Rays this season, Torres has pitched 8 1/3 scoreless innings. He’s thrown four scoreless innings in each of his last two outings.
“That was an outstanding performance,” Maddon said of Torres' day.
And it was enough to keep the major league’s highest-scoring offense during the month May in the ball game. But Jimenez had other plans.
“They got a couple of two-run homers and, obviously, we didn’t threaten,” Johnson said. “We never got a big situation. We never had second and third (or) bases loaded, one of those things where there’s pressure on them. It was probably one of the easier games they’ve played. Hopefully we can get them (today) and it will feel really good considering the weather and the situation.”