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Rangers 6, Rays 2: At least we got a hit.

Rays bats quiet and Andriese continues to allow gopher balls.

Kansas City Royals v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

The game was probably the worst played game of the season for the Rays as a team. The game started well, but there were issues that you knew would come back to bite them eventually.

Innings 1-4: Good Andriese cruised. Rays hitless, but threatened. 0-0.

Matt Andriese got off to a fantastic start as he put the first three Rangers hitters down in order on eight pitches.

In the bottom of the first the Rays put up a threat after a rare Adrian Beltre error with two outs puts Evan Longoria on first. Brad Miller worked a walk to put two runners on for Matt Duffy. Duffy rifled a liner down the right field line that was about a foot from putting the Rays up 2-0, but he one pitch later he grounded out to first base.

Adrian Beltre led off the second with a single. Rougned Odor hit a grounder to Tim Beckham and he went to first instead of getting the lead runner on second. It ended up not costing the Rays anything, but would be a sign of things to come for the Rays defense.

Kevin Kiermaier was removed from the game with what the team called left hip soreness. Nick Franklin entered the game in left field and Mikie Mahtook moved to center.

Andriese allowed a double to Jurickson Profar in the third inning and a single to Beltre, but no damage was done.

Innings 5-7: Things nightmares are made of. Rangers 6-0.

Nick Franklin was removed from the game prior to the fifth inning and was replaced in left field by Corey Dickerson. The Rays were already on their third left fielder of the game and their bench was down to Luke Maile and an injured Logan Forsythe.

After cruising through four innings things started to unravel for Matt Andriese in the fifth inning. Mitch Moreland led off the inning with an opposite field homer to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Elvis Andrus earned the first walk of the game off Andriese with one out. With two outs Ian Desmond hit a chopping groundball up the middle that squeaked through and Andrus headed to third. Mikie Mahtook casually threw a popup to Tim Beckham and Andrus didn’t stop as he rounded third and beat the throw home. He actually scored from first on a single and he wasn’t running on the pitch. If you’re attempting to lose a battle with the 0 wRC+ line you can’t play lazy defense and keep your job. Rangers up 2-0.

Beltre led off the sixth with his 20th homer of the season to put the Rangers up 3-0. With one out Jonathan Lucroy singled and Mitch Moreland walked to end the night for Andriese. Ryan Garton was called on to get the Rays out of the jam. He allowed back to back singles to Nomar Mazara and Elvis Andrus to load the bases. The Rangers scored their fourth run of the game on the Mazara single. Jurickson Profar earned a bases loaded walk to put the fifth run on the board. Garton would end the threat with back to back strikeouts of Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltran.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth Corey Dickerson broke up Cole Hamels no hit bid with a single where the second baseman would normally stand.

Beltre started off the seventh with his second homerun of the night to put the Rangers up 6-0.

Brad Miller singled to start the bottom of the seventh. Matt Duffy promptly hit into a double play. Logan Morrison worked a walk before Tim Beckham ended the inning by striking out. The Rays didn’t score, but they were getting base runners against Cole Hamels.

Innings 8-9: Rays put a couple on the board. Rangers win 6-2.

Brad Boxberger came in for the eighth and allowed one single to Ian Desmond. He induced an infield popup, a ground ball out, and a medium depth fly out to center.

Steven Souza, Jr. led off the top of the eighth with an absolute bomb that went 459 according to Statcast and is the Rays longest homer of the season. With two outs Corey Dickerson poked a fly ball to short left field that he earned a hustle double when it fell. Evan Longoria followed with an RBI single to cut the lead to 6-2.

Danny Farquhar pitched the ninth. He struck out Beltre and Odor to start the inning before Lucroy grounded out softly to end the inning. Farquhar has put together a solid stretch since being recalled. He has retired his last nine batters with seven by strikeout.

Tim Beckham singled up the middle on a groundball that Odor was able to get to but not make the play at first with two outs. Souza ended the game by striking out.

Final Thoughts:

The Rays need some of their guys to step up against left handed pitching. Brandon Guyer was a big part of them being one of the best offenses in the league over the past two seasons. Steve Pearce also played a giant role this season. It definitely hurts having Logan Forsythe unable to play.

Matt Andriese was really good through four innings. The home run regression has hit him like a freight train over the past month. It was always coming, but it wasn’t expected to come all at once. He wasn’t terrible, but those last two frames weren’t good.

Brad Boxberger and Danny Farquhar put together two very good innings of relief work. The seeds look like they could be set towards solidifying who will be in the bullpen to start next season.

Nick Franklin will go on the 7-day concussion disabled list. This happens all around baseball, but how do you get cleared to play by the medical staff. I’m not sure what the solution is, but there needs to be a clearer policy. MLB needs to save teams and players from themselves.