Thursday was not a happy day for Rays baseball. Tampa's bats could not get it going against Cleveland's Josh Tomlin, as both he and Jeremy Hellickson had themselves quality outings.
The Indians went to work right away in this ballgame, as Shin-Soo Choo leadoff the bottom of the first with a solo blast.
Then in the bottom of the second another home run, this time off the bat of Michael Brantley, quickly put the Rays into a 2-0 hole.
The Rays would score there first and only run in the game the fifth. After Will Rhymes belted a one-out triple off the wall, Jose Molina brought him home with an RBI groundout.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, with Jake McGee in the game, the Indians tacked on another insurance run via a solo dinger by Travis Hafner.
After Tomlin's strong seven innings of work, the Rays failed to score off of Cleveland's bullpen.
The Rays fall 43-40 on the season, and fall a bit in the standings. Both the Yankees and Red Sox didn't play (they begin a three-game series Friday night), so the Rays lose a half-game and are now 7 games behind the New York and just a half-game over Boston. The Orioles lost their game, and remain 1.5 games over the Rays.
Notable Stat Lines:
- J. Hellickson (L,4-5): 5 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 4 BB through 6.0 IP.
- E. Johnson: 2-4, E6
- Click here for a full boxscore
Rays News and Notes:
- As I said before, not much good news came out of Thursday. Probably the best news was that Hideki Matsui had his first at-bat (came in as PH) last night's game.
- Here's some awful news on Matt Joyce: It looks like Joyce (oblique) will not rejoin the Rays as expected before the All-Star break. He felt "tightness and discomfort" in his back during his rehab game on Wednesday, and asked to be pulled from the game after three at-bats. Joyce has suspended his rehab stint and will likely not restart it until after the All-Star break.
- Luke Scott's hitless streak reached 0 for 39 after going 0-3 Thursday night. The huge slump is starting to take a physiological toll on Scott, who said yesterday it has cause many sleepless nights and has even brought him to tears. In efforts to take some of the mental pressure off Scott, Maddon started him at first base for Thursday's game.
- Jeff Keppinger (bruised tricep) came into the game in the eighth as a defensive substitution a day after being hit by a pitch in the arm. He should be set to go for the weekend.
- AL squad [and Rangers] manager Ron Washington said that David Price is a strong candidate to start the All-Star game for the American League team.