Rays drop two in row to Twins, 11-8.
MINNEAPOLIS — The seven runs the Rays rallied for in the third through sixth innings Friday normally would be enough for something good.
But not as bad as the Rays pitched in what ended up an ugly 11-8 loss to the Twins.
RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who was near perfect in his Sunday outing in retiring the first 18 Mets, was anything but, allowing four runs in the first and another four before leaving in the third.
And then after the Rays came allthewaybacktoclosethegap to 8-7, relievers Andrew Kittredge and Ryan Yarbrough allowed the Twins to add two more.
Rolling into Minnesota with the best ERA in the majors over the past two months, the Rays haven’t pitched well, with All-Star LHP Blake Snell lasting only three messy innings Thursday and Eovaldi’s 2⅔ on Friday.
So much for impressing Joshua Kalk, the Rays’ longtime, and somewhat top-secret pitching analyst, who joined the Twins this offseason.
As the Rays dropped to 48-46 with their second straight loss, there were some positives. Dispatched quickly by ex-mate Jake Odorizzi early, they scratched out a run in the second, thanks to some to a pair of Minnesota errors.
Jake Bauers looked to have a leadoff home run in the third, but a replay challenge showed itdidn’tquitegoout,sohewas awarded a double, then moved up and scored on two singles.
There was no doubt the next inning, when Kevin Kiermaier and Matt Duffy singled and Bauers crushed a three-run homer, his fourth. Joey Wendle was hit by Odorizzi’s last pitch, then scored on an ensuing double by C.J. Cron to cut the gap to 8-7. But the Rays got no closer. Wendle homered in the ninth .
It was just the second time all season the Rays lost when scoring five or more runs; their 31-1 mark had been the best in the majors.
Eovaldi could not have looked much better than in his previous start, retiring the first 18 Mets on Sunday and allowing only one hit over seven solid innings. And he could not have looked much worse than he did Friday, failing to get out of the third inning after giving up nine hits and two walks that led to eight earned runs. Heck, in his three previous starts combined — against the Mets, Marlins and Nationals — he allowed a total of 10 hits and two runs.
Archer ready for more
Admittedly and somewhat expectedly rusty in his 3⅓-inning Monday return from a five-week disabled list stint due to abdominal strain, RHP Chris Archer is confident he will pitch longer and better this afternoon. “I’m feeling really good,’’ he said. “This whole week has been a nice progression. So just give my team some length, keep us in the ball game and hopefully get a W.’’ Limited to 78 pitches Monday, Archer expects to have a full 100 to work with today.
The Rays got good news on
INF Christian Arroyo, who left his Thursday rehab game at Triple-A Durham with discomfort in his left hand, which was broken last year and twice surgically repaired. Manager Kevin Cash said X-rays were negative and Arroyo, out since mid-June with an oblique strain, should return to action as soon as Saturday. … LHP Jonny Venters, out since late June with a hamstring strain, will throw a simulated game Monday in Port Charlotte, then start a short rehab assignment. … RHP Chaz Roe had successful surgery Friday by Dr. Koco Eaton to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. He’s likely out until September. … RHP Jake Faria (oblique) felt good throwing three innings for Durham in his second rehab outing and is expected to make another Tuesday. … LHP Vidal Nuno (hamstring) is making good progress, Cash said.
Quote of the day
“Much better than I would have handled it, I can tell you that for sure.’’ — RHP Chris Archer, on how LHP Blake Snell dealt with not making the initial AL All-Star team Sunday; he was added Friday.
• Thursday’s 5-1 loss, which ended at 1 a.m. after a 2-hour rain delay, was the 22nd time the Rays were held to one or no runs, second most in the majors to the Orioles (25).
• With LHP Blake Snell being adding to the AL team, it’s the ninth consecutive season the Rays have had a pitcher named an All-Star. Only the Yankees have a longer streak in the league.
• Give top prospect SS Willy Adames credit. Sent back down to Triple A unexpectedly, and perhaps unfairly, Wednesday, he could’ve taken his allowed three days, but he went right to Durham and played Thursday.
Nathan Eovaldi wipes his brow after giving up a three-run homer to Joe Mauer in the third.