Lack of production looms large for Rays

Lack of production looms large for Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- As of late, offensive struggles are like clockwork for the Rays. They've been so routine, in fact, that when Logan Forsythe was asked about them after Monday's 4-1 loss to the Mariners at Tropicana Field, he couldn't help but sigh.

But even after a game in which the Rays went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position, the first baseman -- playing for James Loney, who was placed on the disabled list before the contest -- chose to take a positive approach.

"It happens during the season," said Forsythe, who plated the Rays' only run with a solo home run in the sixth inning. "But we've been doing well up to this point, so I think we are just trying to get back to where we were and trying to get in there and have good at-bats and continue to do the things we were successful with."

Forsythe's solo homer

The worst of their struggles on Monday came in the fifth and sixth innings. Catcher Rene Rivera led off the fifth by doubling off the wall in center field on the first pitch of his at-bat, but the top of the lineup -- Brandon Guyer, Joey Butler and Evan Longoria -- could not push him across.

Then, shortly after Forsythe homered to get Tampa Bay on the board, Jake Elmore hustled out a double after squeezing a hit past third baseman Kyle Seager, but he never came closer to scoring what would have been the tying run.

Monday marked the first time the Rays have gone hitless with at least 10 at-bats with runners in scoring position since June 1, 2014, when they went 0-for-10 against Boston.

This lack of production, however, has persisted since Saturday, with the team scoring three runs during that three-game stretch. In that span the Rays are just 2-for-25 with runners in scoring position.

"It seems like these last three [games] have all kind of been a little bit similar," manager Kevin Cash said. "We can't quite piece anything together offensively. We left 11 guys on base today, and in general when you do that and you are only getting one [run] across, it generally doesn't amount to many good things."

The lack of runs ultimately ended up costing starter Jake Odorizzi, who allowed just two runs -- one earned -- in seven innings but fell to 3-5 on the season. In 10 starts this year, he has received just 16 runs of support.

"I can't really think about that, to be honest," Odorizzi said. "It's something that's out of my control. I can only control what I do, and that's go out there and make pitches and go from there. Hopefully the runs will come, and at some point it's got to change, right? It is what it is, really."

Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.