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Rays miscues lead to loss in Seattle

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Published:   |   Updated: September 7, 2013 at 03:58 AM

SEATTLE - The Tampa Bay Rays did a lot of things wrong Friday night which led to another loss on this long road trip.

 

Desmond Jennings dropped a fly ball in center field in the eighth inning that put the eventual winning run on base.

 

The Rays themselves left the bases loaded in the eighth inning without scoring a run. They scored once with the bases loaded in the third inning - and that run only came home on a wild pitch.

 

They continued to fail with runners in scoring position and left a dozen runners on base.

 

But the one moment Rays manager Joe Maddon could not forgive was when Sean Rodriguez was picked off second base for the first out in the eighth inning with the Rays down a run.

 

The Rays did get a run that inning to tie the score. They could have scored more runs, and Rodriguez's gaffe loomed large when the Mariners scored twice in the bottom of the inning for a 6-4 win at Safeco Field.

 

"That game right there, a lot of things negative can happen," Maddon said. "You could strike out with the bases loaded, you could make a throwing error, you can hang a slider, you can do a lot of different things, but you can't get picked off of second. That's the only thing that bothered me about all of that.

 

"People make errors. You swing at pitches in the dirt, et cetera, but the one part of that game that really upset me was that, and I'm just being honest, because there was no play on. There was nothing on.

 

"That was just straight up baseball."

 

Rodriguez took all the blame.

 

"There's really no explanation. Just something that should never happen and it did," Rodriguez said. "Just straight messed-up play. I messed up."

 

The loss was the 10th in the last 13 games for the Rays, who now lead the Orioles and Indians by just two games for the American League's final wild card spot.

 

"(It was) a game we should have won, and we're not winning that game," Maddon said. "That game has happened way too often this year."

 

The Rays had three walks, a single and a double in the eighth inning and came away with only one run.

 

"It's a real frustrating time for us now," Maddon said. "I've used that word a lot over the last couple of weeks."

 

Luke Scott delivered that tying run with a pinch-hit, two-out double to left-center field that scored Wil Myers all the way from first base.

 

The hit should have also scored Rodriguez, who pinch-ran for James Loney after Loney drew a leadoff walk, but didn't because was Rodriguez was already back in the dugout.

 

"It can't happen," Rodriguez said.

 

But it did. And so did Jennings's error on a long fly ball by Kyle Seager with one out in the eighth.

 

"It hit in my glove. I just dropped it," Jennings said. "I saw it. I had it. I thought I had it, and it popped out. There was nothing that should have kept me from making that (catch)."

 

Joel Peralta then walked Kendrys Morales before striking out Michael Saunders for the second out.

 

"It's frustrating because it cost us the game," Jennings said. "I make that play, we get the next guy and we're out of the inning. That's why it's frustrating."

 

But Justin Smoak lined the ball toward the right field line and Myers tried to make a diving catch. The ball hit his left wrist just below the heel of his glove. Both runners scored.

 

"We have to be able to make those plays," Maddon said. "To go to the promised land you have to be able to do those things."

 

Rays starter Alex Cobb pitched six innings and allowed four runs, the first time since June 10 that he allowed more than two runs in a game.

 

Delmon Young, starting against Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma because Maddon was hoping to find a spark for his offense, homered in the second inning and doubled and scored in the sixth.

 

Young was also at bat with the bases loaded in the third inning when Ben Zobrist scored from third on a wild pitch. Both runners moved up, but Young left them there when he grounded out to second.

 

Despite Rodriguez's baserunning blunder in the eighth, the Rays had a chance to break the game open against Mariners right-hander Carter Capps, who had trouble throwing strikes.

 

But Evan Longoria helped Capps out by chasing the first two pitches out of the strike zone before grounding out to end the rally.

 

"Over-amped," Maddon said.

 

The Rays have just two hits in their last 17 at-bats with the bases loaded. They were 1-for-7 Friday with runners in scoring position.

 

"Getting guys on base has not been our problem," Maddon said. "Scoring them has. It's a like a bad red zone offense, we just can't punch it through. We're inside the 20 (-yard line) all the time and we get the three points once in a while."

 

Maddon kept up the football analogy to describe the eighth inning.

 

"That's a perfect example," he said. "A couple of penalties in the end zone, a run called back. It's so awkward to see that because we're not used to seeing that around here."

rmooney@tampatrib.com

 

(813) 259-7227

 

Twitter: @RMooneyTBO

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