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.
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."
Rays shaken by tragic events in Boston
BALTIMORE -- The tragic events of Monday's Boston Marathon were still being discussed in the Tampa Bay clubhouse before Tuesday's series opener in Baltimore.
The Rays had finished the early game with the Red Sox before the explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. The club got out without trouble, but they were clearly shaken by what happened.
"It's absolutely terrible, and there's some way we've got to figure out how to work through all this because it's about fear, and when that occurs within a group of people, then somebody's winning," Rays manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday. "It's about a bunch of punks doing a bunch of stuff that really we have to fight back with. I just feel horribly for the families."
Pitcher Brandon Gomes is from Massachusetts, and his parents came to Monday's game at Fenway Park. He said he called his mother and uncle a few times after discovering what happened, but he couldn't get through due to phone line problems.
Gomes said he finally got in touch with them, but was worried until that finally happened. Still, he's hoping to see that the people of Boston can bounce back from this.
"That's a mentally strong city," Gomes said. "A lot of blue-collar people that grind it out. The type of mentality that I grew up in have that 'you hit me, I hit you back' mentality. They're going to come together and unite and make a positive out of something so tragic."
Sam Fuld is another player who had family at the game. Fuld, starting in right field Tuesday, said his parents were at Fenway Park and were walking back on Boylston Street towards their hotel and turned on to a side street.
That turn took them away from the location of the explosions.
"It hadn't even occurred to me that they were going back to that area," Fuld said. "I thought that they had their car and they were just driving from Fenway home back to New Hampshire. It was all so relevant and close to us that we all sort of contextualize what we do."
Fuld said it also makes him wonder about if something like that could ever happen at a game in which he's playing.
"I think about it," Fuld said. "Not constantly. But every now and then you think about, 'Man there's 40,000 people here. If somebody really wanted to affect this country, this would be a good place to do it. That's going to be on our minds a little bit more now."
The Rays stayed in a hotel about a block away from the explosion site, but they had checked out around 9 a.m. and gone to the ballpark. Fuld said he actually went to the finish line around 8 a.m. and took pictures of the special place.
"That finish like is what it's all about," Fuld said. "People kill themselves training and they just ... spend so much time and energy training for that finish line. In some ways, it's the most riveting way to shake things up."
Tampa Bay deals for left-hander Beliveau
BALTIMORE -- The Rays acquired pitcher Jeff Beliveau from the Rangers on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations.
Beliveau is a 26-year old left-hander who has a 1-0 career record in 22 games, all in relief and all with the Cubs last season.
The Rangers picked up Beliveau on waivers from the Cubs on Dec. 21, 2012.
Texas had optioned Beliveau to Triple-A Round Rock, and the lefty was designated for assignment on April 8. He had made just one appearance for Round Rock this season, throwing two scoreless innings in an April 7 game vs. Omaha.
• Both the Rays and Orioles wore No. 42 jerseys for Tuesday's game to honor Jackie Robinson. This is the second straight game the Rays have worn No. 42; they also did it Monday in Boston.
• Desmond Jennings homered on the game's first pitch against Baltimore right-hander Jake Arrieta. It was the first homer of the season for Jennings, but he's tied for the American League lead in doubles with six.
• The 36 runs the Rays have scored is the second-lowest total in baseball so far this season.
• The Rays were swept by the Red Sox in Boston last weekend, which rested more on their offensive struggles than their pitching. The Tampa Bay staff allowed only nine runs (eight earned), but the offensive problems hurt once more.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.