Rays know there's room for improvement

Rays know there's room for improvement

BALTIMORE -- The Rays have been a little bit off the last several games doing the little things necessary to win. Rays manager Joe Maddon pointed out as much after Friday night's 4-3 loss to the Orioles when he basically said everybody needed to do better from the manager to the coaches and players.

Saturday night it seemed to get worse for the Rays when they tied a franchise record by committing five errors in their 5-3 loss to the Orioles. Three of those errors came in the second inning alone.

"We're not executing well," Maddon said. "We're talking about it daily, I promise."

Carlos Pena acknowledged that the Rays indeed have had a bad week for executing the extra things that sometimes spell the difference between winning and losing.

"There have been a couple of things we've messed up here and there," Pena said. "But you also understand, a 162-game season, we know those things are going to happen. And we know those are going to happen for other teams, too, because that's the nature of baseball. That's the way it goes. But, we want to make sure that we do that the least that we can. And I think we do a pretty good job of that. I think we're good at what we do."

James Shields said "everyone needs to step their game up."

"I don't think we're playing flawless baseball right now," Shields said. "Teams are going to go through that. All the good ones get out of it quick.

"As a starter, we have to go out and do our job. Get a little win streak going. That will kind of change things a little bit. We definitely need to clean our game up a little bit -- especially on the road. Obviously, our record is pretty good. We're definitely satisfied with where we're at right now. But we definitely have room for improvement."

That improvement did not come Saturday when the team had trouble executing on defense.