Erik Bedard looked great again. Brad Boxberger and Jake McGee were dominant behind him. Joel Peralta and Grant Balfour did walk two batters each, but they overcame them to toss shutout ball. The Rays even got a pair of clutch hits with runners in scoring position, one each from James Loney and Yunel Escobar. Yet somehow, once again they lost. Apparently allowing just 1 hit and getting 2 runs isn’t enough anymore.
Bedard went 5.1 innings allowing 3 runs, but just 1 earned on 1 hit, striking out 6 while walking 3. The unearned runs scored on a Sean Rodriguez error on what should have been a double play ball in the second inning. The third run came on a hanging curveball to Brandon Moss, Bedard’s only real mistake of the night. Evidently, the Rays needed Bedard to be perfect, and he could not be.
The Rays offense blew a bases loaded chance in the 8th after capitalizing in the 6th, and also left 2 runners on in the 2nd inning. Three scoring threats led to 2 runs- we’ve certainly seen worse from this Rays team. However, the lineup simply is not the same with Evan Longoria slumping mightily. The Rays still have good hitters, but coming back in a game becomes exponentially more difficult without Longoria’s ability to change a game on one swing. The Rays need him back to normal, and that has to start happening now.