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News » Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-17

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-17

Tampa Bay Rays Inside Pitch 2009-04-17
So far, no good.

The Rays' biggest priority in the offseason was to improve their offense, and they felt pretty good about it with the signings of Pat Burrell and Gabe Kapler, plus the return of a healthy B.J. Upton.

But 10 games into the season, the Rays have not been very productive.

Their biggest problem has been an all-or-nothing approach, with nearly half their runs, 25 of 51, coming on home runs -- the highest such percentage in the majors.

"We just need to put the ball in play," manager Joe Maddon said.

That has been especially frustrating to Maddon because he stresses, and has the Rays spend a lot of time on, situational hitting -- moving runners, hitting the ball on the ground or on a line instead of in the air, and scoring runs with outs.

Another issue has been the tough opposing pitching, as the Rays were stymied the last three nights by starters A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and John Danks.

WHITE SOX 3, RAYS 2: Strong pitching by John Danks and a two-run homer by Jermaine Dye were too much for the Rays to overcome, and they lost a third straight home game. Jeff Niemann allowed the homer but otherwise was impressive in his second start of the season. The Rays made a late bid in the ninth, getting the winning run to second base, but Gabe Gross grounded out.

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 17, 2009

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