Another L

Tampa Bay Times - - Sport - BY MARC TOPKIN Times Staff Writer

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.

Evolv­ing Eo­valdi

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.

Med­i­cal mat­ters

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.

As­so­ci­ated Press

Nathan Eo­valdi wipes his brow af­ter giv­ing up a three-run homer to Joe Mauer in the third.

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