Time to Worry?

Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon insists it's not time to worry as his club continues to struggle heading toward the All-Star break.

Bet on Major League Baseball

The reeling Rays look to avoid extending their season-high losing streak while again trying to find a way to beat the Cleveland Indians on the road Saturday night.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Tampa Bay -138 money line favorites (MLB Odds) for tonight's game, the over/under has been set at 9 total runs (Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 85% of bets for this game have been placed on Tampa Bay -138 (View MLB Bet Percentages).

For the second time in four days, Tampa Bay (55-37) was shut out, falling 5-0 at Cleveland for its fifth consecutive loss after winning seven in a row. The Rays lost 4-0 to the New York Yankees on Tuesday to open their six-game road trip.

"It's surely messing up our seven-game winning streak," said manager Joe Maddon of the Rays, who have seen their lead over Boston in the AL East go from five games to 1 1/2 over this week.

"I'm not concerned. We'll get through this. You're not going to be void of these moments in a season. They're going to happen."

In order to snap out of the slump, Tampa Bay needs to find some offensive production after scoring a total of three runs in its last four contests and being outscored 32-7 during their slide.

On Friday, Carlos Pena and Ben Zobrist each had two hits for the Rays, who are hitting .192 with 47 strikeouts and not getting production from the top of their order during the losing streak. Leadoff man Akinori Iwamura and No.2 hitter Carl Crawford are a combined 5-for-50 (.100) during their skid.

"When you don't hit, the whole team looks bad," Maddon said. "When you don't score runs, you put a lot of pressure on your pitching staff."

Though the Rays were stymied by Indians' All-Star Cliff Lee on Friday and have lost 11 in a row at Cleveland dating to 2005, they could catch a break Saturday.

Cleveland's Matt Ginter is expected to make his first start since 2005 on Saturday as he takes the spot in the rotation vacated when CC Sabathia was traded to Milwaukee earlier this week.

Ginter, who went 6-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 18 appearances - 17 starts - at Triple-A Buffalo in 2008, is 1-4 with a 4.90 ERA in 15 career starts in the majors. His last appearance came with Detroit on Sept. 18, 2005.

The right-hander, who will make his first start versus Tampa Bay, hopes the Indians' offense doesn't cool off entirely Saturday after outscoring the Rays 18-2 in the first two games of the series.

Jhonny Peralta went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs, while Ben Francisco added three hits for Cleveland (39-53), which lost 10 in a row before this series.

Peralta is batting .364 (8-for-22) with three homers and nine RBIs in his last five games, while Francisco is 6-for-9 with five RBIs and four runs scored through the first two games of the series.

The Indians face Matt Garza (7-4, 3.51 ERA), who looks to help the Rays end their slide when he takes the ball Saturday.

Though he's won his last two decisions, Garza allowed three runs and nine hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 7-4, 10-inning loss to Kansas City on Monday.

"First couple of innings, I was searching for something I didn't have, I just grinded it out," said Garza, who is 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in three starts against Cleveland.

Bet on Major League Baseball

Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Baseball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

Advertisement

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Bautista re-signs, Blue Jays 30/1 Jose Bautista is heading back to Toronto on a one-year deal. What are the current odds of the Blue Jays to win the World Series?
Thumbnail Jays, Bautista could be close to deal Could the Blue Jays be nearing a new deal with slugger Jose Bautista?
Thumbnail Red Sox favored to win AL Pennant The Boston Red Sox are favored to win the 2017 American League Pennant, while the defending champs have the next-best odds.
Thumbnail Updated 2017 NL Pennant Odds The Chicago Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 National League Pennant at 9/5, but which team is listed second?
Thumbnail Cubs remain World Series Favorites The Cubs remain favored to win the 2017 World Series while the Red Sox have the next-best odds according to oddsmakers.
Advertisement

MLB Headlines

MLB Team Pages