Tampa Bay Rays' Brandon Lowe throws his helmet after striking out against the Baltimore Orioles during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 23, 2023, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

Rays Offense Sputters During a Rough Weekend Series

On Sunday afternoon, the Rays lost another close one to the Orioles, which officially drops them to two games back in the AL East. The Rays are now a measly 4-14 in July, and the road ahead is not getting much easier.

Passing the Baton

During the first half of the season, Rays fans did not have much to complain about. The team began the season with a 13-game winning streak, and they held the top spot in the division all the way through to the All-Star Game.

However, the month of July has been nothing short of ugly. During the month, their offensive production has dwindled dramatically. They have been averaging about three runs per game.

What was once a commanding lead in the hardest division in baseball is now a two-game deficit to the Baltimore Orioles — the team they just finished playing a four-game series with.

Time to Panic?

Baseball is a game of peaks and valleys. With their hot start to the season, the Rays were bound to come back down to Earth at some point.

However, an 18-game stretch this bad is certainly cause for worry. The Rays offense has seemingly lost a lot of the spark they had in the early months. Homers, which were a big part of that spark, have been few and far between.

Luckily, during this worrisome period, Rays pitching has faced dynamic offenses and held strong.

At times, when a team loses steam like this, it happens on all facets of the game. While the pitching can always improve, the fact that it hasn’t regressed dramatically is cause for hope.

Coming Up Next

The Rays have a day to rest on Monday without having to worry about travel — something that has not happened often this season. After that, they welcome the Marlins to town for a two-game in-state battle.

Hopefully, the Rays can use the time off to turn the momentum around and gain traction for the month to come.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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