The Rays entered Tuesday's game in New York against the Mets at Citi Field with the chance to win the AL East for the first time since 2010. However, struggles at the plate continued for the team in a 5-2 loss to the Mets. And with the New York Yankees 12-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, the Rays have to wait another day for another chance to clinch.
Blake Snell endured his longest outing of the season, in terms of number of pitches, throwing 108. But only 13 of those pitches were called strikes, as it seemed at times during the game, Snell could not get into a rhythm with starting catcher Michael Perez. Snell earned the loss and is now 4-2. he allowed three runs on six hits, walking three and striking out nine.
Conversely, Mets' starter Seth Lugo, who was raked for six runs on eight hits in one and two-thirds innings in his last start against the Philadelphia Phillies, outpitched Snell to even his record at 3-3. Lugo lasted six and a third innings, allowing two runs - one earned - on four hits, walking one, and striking out seven.
Tampa Bay took a second-inning 1-0 lead on Willy Adames' eighth home run of the season, but the Mets got one right back in the bottom of the second on a solo shot by Robinson Cano, his 10th.
The Mets took the lead for good in the fourth on a solo home run off Snell by Tampa native Pete Alonso, his 13th of the season.
Snell lasted two outs into the sixth, leaving Dominic Smith, who had led off the inning with a double, at third. Righty reliever John Curtiss came in to face the right-handed Alonso, who promptly drove home Smith with a single.
The Rays came close to tying the game in the seventh, as Willy Adames scored on a wild pitch by Mets' reliever Justin Wilson. But with Kevin Kiermaier at second, Wilson struck out Hunter Renfroe to end the threat.
The Mets quickly got that run back in the bottom of the seventh on a solo homer by former Ray Guillermo Heredia off of Curtiss. They added another insurance run in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Alonso.
The Rays could not get their offense untracked as they only had five hits, and were 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position, continuing an 0-for-22 drought.
Wednesday, the Rays will have another chance to capture the AL East crown, with Tyler Glasnow (4-1, 4.21 ERA) taking the mound for the Rays against Michael Wacha (1-3, 6.75 ERA) for the Mets. As we have seen in recent games with the Rays, it doesn't seem to matter who the opposition throws against them, as the Rays have scored three runs or fewer in seven of their last eight games. And with the Mets leading the National League in hitting, it could be another day before the team celebrates a division title.
Coverage of the Rays and Mets on Wednesday starts at 6 p.m. on 95.3 WDAE with the Inside Pitch, hosted by Steve Carney. First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m.
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