Kevin Cash reacts to walk-off loss to Astros

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Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash on the tough loss to the 1st place Houston Astros.

REPORTER: Seven different pictures tonight, obviously an unfortunate ending. How do you chalk this one up?

- It's a tough one, no doubt. I think we sold out to try to win a ballgame and get aggressive with the moves. They got aggressive on their side with some of the pinch-hitting. It all basically worked in our favor until the last inning. Lead-off walk, a couple of tough pitches, a couple odd things took place. And then Bregman comes up and gets a big hit.

REPORTER: When you reflect back on the game as a whole, what do you take away from a game like this?

- You know, I like the fact that we came out and scored some runs off arguably the best pitcher in-- one of the best. The other one's pitching tomorrow-- in an American League going right now. You can see how talented he is. We get four runs and then he kind of dials it in, got on cruise control and got deep in the ballgame, even though his pitch count got up, but he leveled off there.

So that was good to get out there, get an early lead. We actually play really well here for whatever reason. I don't know why but we do. We play a lot of tight ball games. But, no doubt, this is going to be a frustrating one we're going to have to get over quick, because we've got our challenge tomorrow.

REPORTER: You talked about the sixth inning, kind of specifically where you used Castillo.

- Yeah, nine pitchers. Yeah.

REPORTER: Castillo. And it was almost like you guys were matching up like that was the key moment in your mind, right?

- I mean, I kind of thought it was. Even when we went to Alvarado, knowing how talented that team is, taking injuries out of the game, you know, went away from the platoon matchup, just with the hope that Alvarado can come in and maybe get a big punchout from Gurriel. It didn't work, but we ended up getting through the inning still with the lead. But it took everything we had to do that.

REPORTER: And that was the idea, you went for the strikeout possibility.

- Correct. Yeah.

REPORTER: Romo-- you've kind of been able to use him in different roles. And he's obviously, in that situation, the guy you want out there at the end.

- Yeah. Well, yes. There's plenty of guys that I think are capable of doing that, but he's the guy that's been out there and got the experience and he's done it here as of late. So it lined up right, it just didn't work.

REPORTER: And you had to feel pretty good going into the ninth, after getting out of the deal in the eight with [INAUDIBLE].

- Yeah. With Chaz, he's just outstanding. I mean, frustrating loss, but there were a lot of good things-- Chaz' performance, Diego Castillo's performance.


- Stanek was just-- that's the best I've seen Ryne Stanek, definitely in the role, maybe ever. So good for him.

REPORTER: You went a little unconventional going with Venters next, and that actually worked pretty good too, right? Because they had the lefty--

- Yeah, just the way that they decided to pose their lineup, it seemed to make the most sense. And then it allowed us to get Andriese facing those righties just twice, as opposed to more.

REPORTER: To get the four there in the first three innings, what did you guys see out of Cole there at the beginning?

- Well, we were aggressive. I mean, Jake had a really good at bat for the walk and then Wilson came up ready to hit. I talked Chad Mottola in between innings. He said it was a 96, 97-mile-an-hour fastball, top of the zone, away. So you've got to tip your cap to Wilson to get to that pitch. Not many hitter are capable of doing that.

But we had good at bats. I mean, I think that he continued to just pound strikes, but we were ready. And then he got on a groove. His stuff got really nasty and it doesn't matter who's going up there when you're featuring that kind of stuff.

REPORTER: And you were satisfied from seeing Kiermaier before the game that he's ready to go?

- Yep. We'll activate him. We'll have a move here at some point tonight. But, yes, he will be activated and playing center field for us. I'm excited to write his name in the lineup.

REPORTER: This is a weird question, but when they called the pitcher's interference on Ramos--

- Yeah.

REPORTER: --did you actually think that might work to your advantage in that it set up the double play without--

- No. No, not at all. Because Altuve's coming up behind him, and any time he's lingering around there, it'd be better off just not getting him to the plate.

REPORTER: But just moving the spot.

REPORTER: Exactly.

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE] the potential.

- Exactly.

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE] walk him and [INAUDIBLE] anyway.

- Right. Yeah.