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Rays having early trouble finding offense

BALTIMORE -- The Rays are hoping their bats will find a spark sooner rather than later.

Tampa Bay came into the three-game series with the Orioles ranked last in the American League with a .205 team batting average through 12 games. In addition, the Rays are at or near the bottom in several offensive categories.

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They scored only 35 runs in the first 12 games, averaging just under three per contest. Manager Joe Maddon talked about the low total before Tuesday's series opener in Baltimore, saying the problems with hitting can affect the team in several different ways.

Also, the Rays hit only five homers in those first 12 games. Chris Davis of the Orioles has already posted six by himself.

"It's a tough mindset for the pitchers right now; on defense, you don't want to make a mistake," Maddon said. "You know it's hard to cover mistakes right now, because the offense has been struggling."

Six of nine batters in the Tampa Bay starting lineup Tuesday had an average of .200 or lower. Maddon said slumps happen to teams on a regular basis, and he is just hoping to see his Rays get through it sooner rather than later.

"We have to do a better job of scoring runs," Maddon said. "The rally [is] pretty much single-digit rallies these days and we've got to get beyond that, and we will. We shall do that. It happens to everybody every year. It's just happening to us right now."

Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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