Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida
By ANDREW ASTLEFORD  |  Last updated 9/12/13
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- By the end, little was new here. Only more frustration, more blown chances, more reasons to wonder. Oh sure, the Tampa Bay Rays teased Wednesday. They turned a two-run deficit after six innings into a tie by the end of the eighth. They fought. They forced extra innings. By the end, though, little had changed. Another loss. More questions about where this team will go. Boston Red Sox 7, Rays 3 in 10 innings. "It just slipped out of our hands," Rays right-hander Alex Cobb said. This one was rough, elbow-to the-gut bad. Mike Carp smacked a 410-foot grand slam to center field off reliever Roberto Hernandez in the 10th, and Tropicana Field turned into Fenway Park South. Fans streamed into the aisles. A "Let's go, Red Sox!" lifted into air. The Rays' postseason outlook took another hit. The threats are plenty now. The New York Yankees are one game back of the second wild-card spot. The Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians 1.5 games each. The Kansas City Royals two. Those teams are charging. The Rays? Stuck in reverse. The most puzzling part: It's hard to tell where a response will come. Oh, they had their chances tonight. But they faltered, like so other times during this slide. Second inning: Evan Longoria was stranded on third and Desmond Jennings on second. Third: David DeJesus was stranded on third and Longoria on second. Fifth: Jennings struck out with the bases loaded. More blown chances, more reasons to wonder. "We're still in the wild-card situation," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Everybody's been preaching doom and gloom and from my perspective, it's been a very tough run right now. However, as we right ourselves, we're in pretty good position to continue on into the playoffs. I don't want our guys to go out there and worry about sharp objects." What's next from here? It's hard to tell. On Tuesday, manager Joe Maddon was right: The Rays need a spark, something organic, something genuine. It may be quirky, crazy, unexpected. But it must be real. And it must happen soon. That, it seems, could be one of few options to right their path. The Rays entered this series knowing what was at stake. Before Tuesday, the American League East title appeared out of reach. But there was still postseason positioning to play for. There was still a goal: The second wild card spot, a chance to hold on to their advantage. Reach the postseason and take your chances. Punch a ticket to October, and who knows what can happen from there? For the Rays to reach next month, they can't have many more nights like Wednesday. Or ever again. Red Sox right-hander Ryan Dempster was vulnerable. He allowed one run and four hits in five innings, but those numbers could have been more. The hard facts: Tampa Bay is 3-10 since Aug. 29 and a major-league-worst 4-13 since Aug. 25. That doesn't look good, no matter how you slice it. It doesn't get any easier for the Rays. They have one more game against the Red Sox, four against the Texas Rangers, four against the Orioles and three against the Yankees as part of their 18 games to come. Can they snap out of this? Yes. How will it happen? That's the biggest question now. This stadium has hosted so much good baseball throughout the past four months. It's startling to see the scene turn so quickly, the mood switch so fast. After James Loney lined out to right field to end the night, the remaining Red Sox fans roared. Rays players turned and walked slowly away from the field, away from another loss. By the end, they had seen enough. You can follow Andrew Astleford on Twitter @aastleford or email him at aastleford@gmail.com.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dwight Howard: ‘I have not asked the Rockets to trade me’

Nazem Kadri fined $5,000 for throat-slashing gesture

Hassan Whiteside suspended one game for elbowing Boban Marjanovic

Hornets’ Michael Kidd-Gilchrist has torn labrum

Report: Antonio Tarver suspended six months, fined $50,000 for positive test

Texans owner wants team to draft a top quarterback


Subban undergoes larynx surgery, out at least eight weeks

Report: Raiders staying in Oakland for 2016 season

Cavaliers showing trade interest in Kings’ Ben McLemore

Report: Rockets shopping Dwight Howard

Jim Fassel takes issue with Cam Newton's warmup MVP cleats

Report: NFL upholds Vontaze Burfict’s three-game suspension

NBA to weigh adding advertisements to jerseys

ESPN, Stephen A. Smith and Little League International sued by parents of Jackie Robinson West

Kobe Bryant shoots down notion he wants All-Star MVP record

Justin Tuck will sign one-day contract to retire with Giants

Ronda Rousey returns to training

Von Miller likely to get franchise tag from Broncos

Barry J. Sanders transferring to Oklahoma State

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

USWNT start Olympic qualification in style by scoring in first 12 seconds

Magic Johnson wants Peyton Manning to join Rams

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

Franchise tag has been a useful tool for John Elway, Broncos

The 16 best NBA All-Star Game sneakers ever

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Fantasy booking WrestleMania 32

Unrestricted free agents each team must consider re-signing

QUIZ: Name the winners of the NBA Slam Dunk Contest

Thank you Daniel Bryan

The timeless greatness of Jaromir Jagr

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker