Rays Roundup: Slumping Bats, But Still in 1st

In this edition of Rays Roundup: Despite a team-wide slump at the plate the Rays are still in first in the AL East, Ben Zobrist finally gets an extra-base hit and the team is on-pace to set team-record for errors. All of that and more inside.

INSIDE PITCH

Rays in sole possession of first despite hitting slump

The Rays matched their season-high for runs at home this season during Sunday's 8-4 victory against the Orioles, a win that moved the Rays back into sole possession of first place.

The offensive outburst was based on six hits by the Rays and three errors by the Orioles.

The Rays hit .165 while going 2-4 on the homestand. They struck out 52 times and drew 16 walks.

"That's the bottom line, we've got to do a better job swinging the bats," DH Luke Scott said. "It's been like that the last three weeks really, really struggling with the bats as a group. No one's really gotten hot. Guys have been just not feeling right, we've all been talking about it as a group, we haven't felt good at the plate."

The Rays scored 11 runs in the two wins and only seven in the four losses. On Saturday, they were held to a season-low two hits in a 2-1 loss.

"It's true, we've got to pick each other up when that stuff doesn't happen. Really, one more hit and we win (Saturday's) game. We just didn't do it," RF Ben Zobrist said after wasting a golden opportunity in the eighth inning Saturday when he bounced into an inning-ending 4-6-3 double play with the bases loaded.

"You'd just like to see that one guy get real hot, that guy who when he comes to bat has a real good chance of getting on," Zobrist said.

The Orioles scored the go-ahead run Saturday in the seventh inning with the help of a pair of two-out errors.

"We have faced good people but we have to score more runs," manager Joe Maddon said. "We have to get more hits. We did make some mistakes but at some point you've got to be able to out-hit your mistakes."


NOTES, QUOTES

Zobrist ends extra-base hit drought

--2B Ben Zobrist, who actually raised his average to .208 by going 1-for-4 in Sunday's win, snapped a streak of 59 at-bats without an extra-base hit with his sixth-inning double. It was the longest such streak of his career.

--LHP Matt Moore earned his second win the season and first since May 1 after going six innings Sunday against the Orioles. Moore, 0-4 in his five previous starts, has pitched with a lead in nine of his 11 starts this season.

--The Rays have now scored at least one run in seven of CF B.J. Upton's last nine plate appearances with the bases loaded. He has two doubles, a single and a home run during that span.

--The Rays have committed more than one error in a game 13 times this season. They didn't do that in 2011 until the 52nd game of the year, a major league record for the longest such streak to start a season. The Rays, who made a major league-low 73 errors last season, are on pace for a team-record 140 this season.

--The major league record for the most catcher's interferences in one season is five, shared by four teams, most recently the 2010 Mariners. The Rays have four. Chris Gimenez, who is back at Class AAA Durham, has three. Jose Lobaton has one.

BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- Games won this season by the Rays when being outhit.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "We talk about gold around here all the time and we have not been playing up to our gold standard." -- Rays manager Joe Maddon on the Rays sloppy defense, which has committed 46 errors this season, the second-most in the AL.


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