Frustrating night for offense vs. Jays

Frustrating night for offense vs. Jays

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays experienced a frustrating night at the plate in Monday night's 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

"We had some opportunities we were unable to capitalize on," manager Kevin Cash said. "I felt like we put ourselves in some positions to get the tying run up to the plate or get something going. We just didn't quite capitalize on those at the end."

The Rays left nine on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

That frustration was evident in the bottom of the eighth, when Hank Conger pinch-hit for Curt Casali with two outs and runners on first and third. Toronto right-hander Drew Storen struck out Conger looking.

The Rays' emphasis this offseason was to improve the offense. Thus far they haven't been hitting on all cylinders, but they believe they have the players to make it happen.

"We just have to string a lot of bats together," said Steven Souza Jr., who hit his first home run of the season in the second inning. "As a team and individually, we've had some really good at-bats, and really put the ball in play in some good situations. But getting them back to back to back in some situations getting the runners in, those are going to be key down the stretch."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.