Rays hope return home can cure struggles

Tampa drops 11th straight game Sunday in Baltimore

Rays hope return home can cure struggles

BALTIMORE -- Rays manager Kevin Cash tried to search for positives following Sunday's 12-5 loss to the Orioles, his team's 11th straight defeat.

The offense showed signs of life and the Rays were competitive despite a slew of injuries, but they have had little to show for it. Cash found little consolation about the prospect of heading home for an 11-game homestand that might reinvigorate his reeling club.

"It will be good to win," Cash said. "Home, away ... I don't think anybody is really concerned about that. It will be good to win."

Tampa Bay has been outscored 72-29 and allowed at least five runs in every game of the losing streak, which is tied for the third longest in franchise history.

"Losing is tough," Cash said. "There's no doubt about it. You find out a little bit about each other. You find out about your club. Nobody's character is going away. We're staying positive. I like the way the guys keep going out there and grinding it out. We're playing hard. We're running balls out. We're doing what we can on the mound. It might not be ideal, but guys are out there making pitches. We're just not executing on the mound and at the plate at times and even on defense."

Drew Smyly was expected to give the Rays a lift Sunday at Camden Yards, where he was 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in four games (three starts). However, things unravelled for Smyly in the first inning when he allowed a grand slam to Chris Davis that put his team in an early hole. The Rays never recovered, and Smyly (2-8) is now winless in his last seven starts.

"We're just not winning right now," Smyly said. "It's going south. Something new every game. We're just not clicking as a team."

Smyly strikes out Machado

Now, the Rays will try to bounce back with games against the Red Sox, Tigers and Angels at Tropicana Field.

One bright spot for Tampa Bay has been the addition of outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who was acquired from the Twins on Friday. Making his second straight start for the Rays on Sunday, the left-handed hitting outfielder had three hits, including a solo homer and a two-RBI double.

Tampa Bay has four outfielders on the DL, so Arcia has been a much-needed spark.

"He's given us a little life in the last two, three days and that's great to see," Cash said. "Hopefully, he will continue to do that. We're going to lean on him the way he's swinging the bat right now. He's having good at-bats. He's positive, energetic and made a nice play in right. He's doing some good things for us."

Arcia's double drives in two

Arcia is also looking forward to playing in front of the home fans for the first time Monday against Boston. He hopes to play a vital role in helping the Rays emerge from this slump.

"It's nice to get here and get to know the guys a little bit," Arcia said. "Things aren't going very well right now, but we're working hard together. I am looking forward to playing my first home game in Tampa Bay and keep going."

The Rays just have to make sure they move in correct direction.

Todd Karpovich is a contributor to MLB.com. He covered the Rays on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.