Rays lose to Brewers; Playoff race getting closer

By: Garrett Ballard

The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 on Tuesday night. The Rays were half a game up in the wild card race prior to tonight. Now, they are within half a game of three teams. 

The Brewers jumped out and gained the lead early in the first inning. Jimmy Yacabonis opened the game for the Rays, throwing 21 pitches in a rough outing. Ryan Yarbrough worked the majority of the game and was the losing pitcher. Yarbrough’s record is now 0-7. 

Yandy Diaz hit a two-run home run in the third inning that tied the game and allowed the Rays to remain within striking distance of a win. That would change not long after. 

The fifth inning saw seven Brewers’ batters come up to the plate and two runs scored. Veteran Andrew McCutchen and Kolten Wong both drove in runs. The Brewers maintained the lead and only allowed one more Tampa Bay run on an RBI double by Jose Siri. 

The playoff race is getting crowded

The Rays were sitting alone in the second wild card spot prior to this game, now, they are back to a situation where they could be passed by three teams on any given day. The Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Guardians, and Baltimore Orioles are all within half a game of Tampa Bay. 

With a series coming up in a few days against the Orioles, the Rays are putting themselves in a situation where they could fall from second in the wild card race, to fourth, in just one series. 

What’s next?

Tampa Bay and Milwaukee have one more game in this series on Wednesday afternoon. The game is set to start at 2:10 P.M. Eastern time. Jeffrey Springs (4-3, 2.50 ERA) gets the call for the Rays; Brandon Woodruff (9-3, 3.49 ERA) gets the ball for the Brewers.