04/11/07 1:05 AM ET
Seo roughed up in loss to Rangers
Right-hander gives up 10 runs in three innings
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Unfortunately for the Devil Rays, most of the offense belonged to the hometown team, as the Rangers took a 12-9 victory in front of a crowd of 23,897 to send the Rays to their fourth consecutive defeat.
Monday night's contest began in 55-degree weather and the temperature continued to dip throughout the Rangers' 8-4 win; Tuesday evening, the sun shone with the temperature at 74 degrees when the first pitch was thrown. And the baseball responded accordingly.
"Oh my God, it was a different ballpark," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was West Texas baseball played on the east side of Texas. It could have been Midland versus Tulsa tonight. It's incredibly different. Fly balls just go out. ... It's the same for both sides. It's just a different form of baseball. It's kind of El Paso, it's kind of Midland, when the wind's kicking up and the ball's just flying out, it's tough."
A precursor for what the night would bring came when Kenny Lofton led off the bottom of the first with a home run to right field off of Rays starter Jae Seo.
"That ball's a routine fly ball everywhere but Asehville, North Carolina," said Rays right fielder Delmon Young, who tried in vain to grab Lofton's hit. "It was carrying tonight. That's the thing about this ballpark, there's certain times it's going to carry."
Ian Kinsler pushed the Rangers' lead to 3-0 with a two-run homer off Seo in the second. But the Rays answered in the third when Elijah Dukes and Dioner Navarro hit back-to-back doubles to cut the lead to 3-1 before B.J. Upton tripled to make it 3-2. Ty Wigginton finished the scoring in the third with a three-run homer to put the Rays up 5-3.
Seo's teammates had given him a second life, he just couldn't make anything out of the opportunity.
Frank Catalanotto's three-run homer led a seven-run third inning by the Rangers that saw them send 10 hitters to the plate. Five of the runs were unearned due to a fly ball that hit off the heel of Young's glove and dropped to the turf in right field.
"Several of those runs were unearned in that seven-run inning," Maddon said. "That was unfortunate, because we did put the five up. It would have been nice to put a zero up after that. No question."
Seo did not come out to start the fourth inning.
"My body, it felt good, my release point, I don't know where [it was]," Seo said. "Today a lot of wind. I try low, low, low pitching. Too much thinking, you know."
Maddon didn't think Seo looked himself Tuesday night.
"He was not comfortable," Maddon said. "They hit some fly balls that went out that probably would not have gone out otherwise. It was a tough night to pitch, just one of those West Texas nights -- been there."
The game got more frustrating for the Rays the longer it went. Upton, who has played stellar defense thus far in the season, made a pair of errors at second base while the Rangers built a 12-6 lead. The six-run cushion helped the Rangers withstand the Rays' three-run ninth that featured Young's second home run of the season.
"A bunch of ugly things happened tonight," said Rays left fielder Carl Crawford, who sounded discouraged about the path the team seems headed after losing its fourth straight game. "Got all of those emotions running through. It's just a rerun. You know what I'm saying? What can you say? We've got to go through it."
While the Rays record slipped to 2-5 on the season, Crawford did allow that it was still early.
"We've got to wait and see what's going to happen," Crawford said. "It doesn't look good right now. I'll tell you that. Hopefully something will change in the near future."
Maddon said he wasn't discouraged about his team losing its fourth straight due to the many good things he saw, such as hitters working good at-bats. Wigginton stood out among the hitters with a 3-for-4 performance that included two doubles, a home run and four RBIs.
"We made a couple of mistakes on defense, which we have not been doing," Maddon said. "But again, you have to pitch to win, and we have to get more consistent there."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.