They collected three hits early, including a leadoff single from Wil Myers (his first MLB hit), but that was it until the ninth inning, when Kelly Johnson hit a solo homer off Andrew Bailey to tie the game. The usually reliable Joel Peralta then walked Daniel Nava – a good move considering recent history — to bring up Jonny Gomes.
And what does the ex-Ray do? Crush the ball, thus sealing the Red Sox win.
However, the Rays had chances. They went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and 0-for-4 with runners on base — not exactly a way to stay competitive, let alone win games against offensive powerhouses.
Look at it this way. The Rays’ duo of Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria were a combined 0-for-7 hitting during this game. Throw in Sean Rodriguez and Yunel Escobar, and that number is much worse (no hits in 13 at-bats).
Rookie starter Jake Odorizzi, on the other hand, proved to be solid, allowing only Nava’s homer in 5.2 innings of work. Although he walked away with a no-decision, that’s a good sign considering David Price and Alex Cobb are battling injuries, while Jeremy Hellickson, Chris Archer and Roberto Hernandez can’t seem to consistently throw strikes.
Even Matt Moore, who started the season 8-0, is enduring command issues.
Going forward, the Rays must find a way to collect hits and score runs. Because if they don’t, any chance of making the postseason will be squashed quicker than a bug.