For the second straight game the Rays were virtually doomed from the first inning, and for the third straight game the offense was nowhere to be found.
Seattle leadoff man Seth Smith reached base after Tim Beckham flubbed an easy ground ball that he didn't have to move an inch to field. Rays' starter Jake Odorizzi followed that up by walking Brad Miller on four pitchers and giving up back-to-back singles to Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz, putting the Rays in a 2-0 hole before nary an out was recorded.
Odorizzi would settle down considerably after his early struggles allowing just three hits and a walk from there on out, finishing with seven strong innings. He actually lowered his ERA in the process from 2.43 to 2.31. Two runs would be all Seattle would need for victory, but that doesn't make the run they scored in the eighth inning, their third of the game, sting any less. Steve Geltz induced a groundball by Smith, and again Beckham was unable to field it clearly, this time half-diving to stop it as it deflected off his glove and into the outfield while Smith hustled into second for a double. Another single from Cano one batter later made it a two run game and shut the door on the Rays' hopes.
The offense was once again terrible with men in scoring position, going 0-10. Their only run came on a sixth inning home run by Logan Forsythe. There was a prime opportunity to even the score in the fourth inning with men on second and third with one out, but Kevin Kiermaier struck out on three pitches and Nick Franklin lined out to center. The very next inning was led off by a Rene Rivera double, but he, as you know, did not end up scoring. The sixth inning provided yet another chance for Kiermaier to drive home a run after a double, but again he struck out on three pitches. It was a pretty spectacular night at the plate for Kiermaier. He had two at bats end in one pitch outs and another two end in three pitch strikeouts. He's now hitting .238/.278/.399 on the season.
The only silver lining into tonight's game was the fact that Odorizzi last seven innings after throwing nearly 30 pitches in the first. The bullpen was saved from yet another marathon outing.
Alex Colome takes the hill tomorrow looking to build off of the excellent performance in his previous start. As far as the offense goes, it's going to be a battle again, especially likely being without Souza or Cabrera again.