Musings on the Rays

Not every series can be pivotal, but the three-gamer starting tonight in Toronto sure feels that way.

The Rays just split four games with the Royals in K.C. — not a disaster, but not the tonic the St. Petersburg team needed. The major problems persist, chief among them the offense. While the Rays are no longer in a collective hitting slump — Evan Longoria and Carlos Pena could even be considered hot — they can’t seem to come together at the plate.

Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton continue to underachieve, and for too long the Rays have not been able to spark that rally, that big inning. They don’t knock in runs at key times. They strand baserunners like they have leprosy.