Rays pitchers have started getting deeper into starts, but the defense is showing late season exhaustion early
Going into the second week in May, the Rays (16-17) were fourth in the American League East standings. Struggling in all aspects of the game, the Rays were hoping for a change against the Royals and the Red Sox.
First up, the Kansas City Royals came to Tropicana Field for a four-game series. Entering the week with 10 wins and 20 losses, the Royals were also hoping for a turnaround.
Chris Archer proved why he is the number one in the rotation. In the third game of the series, Archer posted 11 strikeouts and zero walks. The only blemish was the five hits he allowed over his eight innings pitched.
Continuing his hot streak, Corey Dickerson went 8-for-17 and scoring four runs over the series.
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 10, 2017
Defensive errors cost the Rays big throughout the series, including two different misses by Kevin Kiermaier that both resulted in little league home runs by the Royals.
Blake Snell continued to struggle down the stretch, unable to make it out of the sixth inning, a feat that has been impossible for Snell since his first start of the year on April 6th.
Ultimately, the Rays dropped 3-of-4 to the Royals, taking a 17-20 record on the road to face Boston.
For the second time in 2017, Tampa Bay traveled to Fenway Park to take on long-time division rival Red Sox in a three-game weekend series.
The offense highlighted Mother’s Day for the Rays, resulting in 11 runs brought in. Steven Souza Jr. hit a three-run blast in the ninth in only his second game back from a sore thumb.
— FOX Sports Florida (@FOXSportsFL) May 14, 2017
Chris Sale continued his dominace on the league by striking out 12 Rays on Saturday and only allowing two runs. Tampa’s bats were no match for the former White Sox, only managing three hits.
Snell once again faltered late and was pulled Saturday after only 5.2 innings. After the loss put him at 0-4 on the season, he was optioned to triple-A Durham in hopes for him to find his rhythm.
The upside is that the Rays took 2-0f-3 from the Red Sox in their second series against them in 2017. Tampa is now 3-4 against Boston this year, with 12 more games to play this season. The Rays are hoping to post a winning record against the Red Sox for only the sixth time in team history, and first since 2015.
On Monday the Rays travel to Cleveland to take on the defending American League Champion Indians before their first day off in 20 days. Then it’s back to Tropicana Field for a weekend series against divison leader New York Yankees.