Longoria, Rays shift focus after tough loss

July 23rd, 2017

ST. PETERSBURG -- Talk about a mood killer. After a 4-2 West Coast road trip, the Rays returned home riding a high.
Then the Rangers arrived and took three wins the Rays felt they should have won, including Sunday's come-from-behind 6-5 win that earned them a sweep of the series.
"It's tough," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Look, there's no doubt. We've put ourselves in a position we want to be in. The way these three days have unfolded is not ideal, but I totally believe we can bounce back with a good series."
acknowledged that one of the tougher elements of the weekend sweep was the fact they thought they played well enough to win all three games.
"They just got away from us," Longoria said. "That's just the nature of the game. I mean, obviously, it would have been nice to win two out of three and feeling a lot better about yourself. We still control our own destiny."
The Rays suffered their third sweep of the season, but it marked the first time they've been swept at Tropicana Field since Sept. 23-25 against the Red Sox. In addition, the Rays have lost four straight games, including the last three by one run.
Longoria is now the wisened veteran of the Rays. He did not think that panic is anywhere near for this year's group.
"I think everybody in here is doing a good job of playing day to day," Longoria said. "It's pretty easy to kind of shut down after a game like last night. It's a tough loss. I thought we came out with a lot of life today. We played well, it just got away from us again."
The Rays have an American League-leading 31 losses this season after holding a lead. Baltimore arrives at Tropicana Field on Monday, and the Rays are hoping to get back on track against their division rival.
"Just try and start something new," Longoria said. "We're right where we need to be. The division is still well within reach. I don't know about everybody else in here, but my goal is to win the division. But we've got to find a way to start over. Get one win and get on another roll.
"I feel like everybody in here feels like we can do great things. It's just a matter of getting one under our belt again."
Count Steven Souza Jr. among the frustrated. He struck out to end Sunday's game with the tying run on second and the winning run on first. While he's frustrated, he did not sound defeated.
"Listen, that's three games that we just lost that we should have won," Souza said. "There's no doubt about it. Are they frustrating losses? Absolutely, but if we thought that we were going to win every single series and sweep everyone from the rest of the season on, then you guys are a little bit out of your mind.
"The goal is to make it to the playoffs. There are going to be some bumps along the road, but we have plenty of time left. We need to be consistent, and this is a little hurdle that we just have to get over and we'll be fine."