Rays seek answers as 1-run losses mount

Rays seek answers as 1-run losses mount

LOS ANGELES -- Tuesday's 3-2 loss to the Dodgers marked the first time in franchise history that the Rays lost four straight games by just one run apiece. Six of the seven losses following the All-Star break have been by one run, leading to a mounting frustration by the team and manager Kevin Cash.

"I view it as a team that's not good enough," Cash said. "We're not good enough right now. We've got to figure out a way to win those ballgames. ... It seems like when those big moments in the game are coming, we're not getting it done."

The Rays have lost 29 of 36 games, dropping 20 games off the pace in the American League East. Their 7-17 record in one-run games is the worst in all of baseball.

"It's not fingerpointing at one specific individual," Cash said. "It's just totally on the team. On myself, on the staff. We're just not good enough right now, and we've got to make adjustments to overcome that."

The Rays appear likely to make moves before Monday's non-waiver Trade Deadline. Once the roster is more solidified after that, Cash said the last two months of the season will be a balance of doing everything the Rays can do to win games, while seeing what some of their inexperienced players can do with increased playing time.

But for now, Tampa Bay is dealing with some difficult losses. When asked about the players not getting it done, despite the established talent on the roster, Cash gave an honest response.

"I guess you could say that," Cash said. "But when do you find out whether they do or don't have the talent?"

Injury updates

Alex Cobb threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Tuesday, and he will turn his rehab back to game action, getting a start Friday for Class A-Advanced Charlotte. He last pitched in a rehab game on July 11, but was pulled after one inning due to fatigue. Cash said the pause in the rehab wasn't an injury setback, just a way for Cobb to iron out his mechanics. Cobb last pitched in the Majors in 2014, and is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Brad Boxberger was slated to throw the second of his back-to-back rehab appearances on Wednesday for Charlotte. He threw a scoreless inning on Tuesday. Cash said the closer will throw just 10-15 pitches, with the expectation that he'll be activated shortly if there are no issues. Boxberger has been out since June 1 with an oblique strain.

Desmond Jennings will get three at-bats for Charlotte after going 1-for-4 in his first rehab appearance on Tuesday. Cash said the hope is Jennings will be activated early next week. Jennings hasn't played since June 30 after suffering a hamstring strain.

Sam Blum is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.