Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Sweet by Indians in 4 Games
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Rays Lose AL East Lead, Losing Streak at 7

The Rays need to get it together and fast. After leading the AL East for about two weeks, the Rays succumbed to their old ways getting swept by the lowly Cleveland Indians. The Indians came in losers of their last ten games and yet they swept the Rays right out of first place in the division.

Tampa Bay Rays merchandise It was an ugly series for the Rays going into the All Star Break. They only scored eight runs in the four game set and the pitching did not help them at all either. The Rays gave up thirty one runs in the four game set, that’s a huge difference considering the Rays had only given up an average of about four runs a game. In the first game Andy Sonnanstine pitched for the Rays, he gave up five runs in the fifth inning to blow the 2-0 lead the Rays had and then the bullpen did not help the Rays. The bullpen gave up seven more runs to put the game way out of reach as the Indians won 13-2. Cliff Lee stifled the Rays in the second game of the series for his twelfth win of the year. The Rays pounded out eight hits but could not get a run across as they lost 5-0. James Shields continued to get pounded on the road as he got shelled for ten hits and five runs in the loss. In the third game of the series, the Rays sent Matt Garza to the hill to try and stop the bleeding, but he got hammered early and the Rays rally fell short in the 8-4 loss. Garza gave up seven earned off of eleven hits in a very poor outing. After being down 7-0, the Rays put up four in the eighth inning but it was not enough to snap the losing streak. Missed opportunities came back to haunt the Rays in the finale of the four game set. Jeremy Sowers walked seven Rays batters and Tampa Bay could not deliver the timely hit they needed in losing 5-2. Kazmir had a rough outing for the Rays as he gave up five runs off of eight hits through six innings. The Rays stranded seven runners in scoring position in the game and once again could not deliver a key hit as they lose again and get swept on the road in Cleveland.

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The All Star Game has come and gone, and now the Rays have to get back on track in the AL East. They will start their series Friday night with the Toronto Blue Jays. Tampa Bay is a half game back of the division leading Boston Red Sox and the Blue Jays are nine games out at this point. The Rays have to get back to what was working for them in the past, and that is timely hitting, great defense, and outstanding pitching. Not one of those thing have been happening for the Rays during their seven game losing streak which knocked them out of first place in the division. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • A.J. Burnett (10-8) vs. J. Shields (7-6)
  • R. Halladay (11-6) vs. S. Kazmir (7-5)
  • J. Parrish (1-0) vs. M. Garza (7-5)

 

By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent


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