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Thursday, Oct 30, 2014
Rays

Rays Notes: Myers epitomizes club’s woes at plate

Published:   |   Updated: April 17, 2014 at 06:45 AM

BALTIMORE — Maybe if he was swinging the bat better, the Rays’ Wil Myers would not have been out front of the slider thrown by Zach Britton in the seventh inning Wednesday that Myers hooked foul with the bases loaded.

But Myers is in a slump, and the long foul ball was followed by a swing-and-a-miss for strike three and the Rays lost the final game of their long road trip 3-0 to the Orioles.

“Besides the first game of the year, I haven’t really done too much at the plate,” Myers said. “It’s just one of those things I’m going through right now. I’m looking to get out of it soon.”

Myers batted .185 during the eight-game road trip — .133 in the five games played in Cincinnati and Baltimore. But Myers is hardly the reason the Rays can’t score — just 14 runs in the eight games on the trip. David DeJesus hit .063 on the trip, James Loney hit .179 and Yunel Escobar hit .185.

As a team, the Rays are hitting .191 in their past nine games.

Still, one swing by Myers during the seventh or one by Ben Zobrist, who forced a runner at the plate in the at-bat before Myers faced Britton, and the Rays might have headed home in a better mood.

Myers certainly would have.

“Anytime you go through any type of slump is discouraging, especially coming up in a big situation for your team,” Myers said.

Myers said he was confident when he walked to the plate to face Britton.

“I really thought I was going to do something there,” he said. “It didn’t happen, but it’s not something I’m dreading each at-bat. You take each at-bat and try to get better at it and try to come through for your team.”

Ironically, Myers said the swing on the ball he pulled foul was one of his better swings on the trip. His problem, Myers said, has been his approach at the plate.

“I’ve been kind of going back and forth,” he said. “Sometimes I take, sometimes I try to be aggressive. I feel either one I pick is going to be wrong at the time. But that’s what you go through. When you’re going well you stick to one thing. But I’m going back and forth trying to find something that works. It’s just tough right now.”

Odorizzi wants to be sharper

RHP Jake Odorizzi hurt himself during Wednesday’s start by walking three batters, two of whom scored. The third walk loaded the bases and led to the third run of the game.

“He could have gone six (innings) with a little bit of luck, and maybe one run at the most,” Maddon said. “He threw the ball well.”

Odorizzi walked the leadoff batter in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth. The Orioles loaded the bases each inning and scored three times.

“I got to eliminate the walks,” he said. “Without the walks, I’m probably not in trouble there.”

Zim recovering from surgery

Rays senior adviser Don Zimmer underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a leaky heart valve.

The procedure took more than six hours. He is resting comfortably, according to a team spokesman, and is expected to remain in the hospital for several days.

“We’re looking forward to getting him back, bouncing around, probably throwing BP and hitting some fungos,” manager Joe Maddon said. “Soot’s brownies are very vital to our success.”

This is the 66th season of pro baseball for Zimmer, 83, who married his wife Jean (Soot) at home plate in 1951 when he was in the minor leagues. Zimmer has been with the Rays for the past 11 seasons.

Noteworthy

The Rays called up five players during the road trip, including LHP Jeff Beliveau twice. ... LHP Erik Bedard will be the seventh starting pitcher the Rays have used this season when he faces the Yankees on Friday. ... The Rays have been shut out three times, matching the 2001 team for the most through the first 15 games of the season ... Zobrist hit safely in seven of the eight games on the trip.

Roger Mooney

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