Rays Win Fourth in a Row as Moore Goes to 4-0
Things looked pretty bleak for the Tampa Bay Rays after Matt Weiters beat them with a walk-off grand slam on Thursday. They wasted a four home run effort and fell to 5-10 on the season. They were scheduled to fave the 12-4 Oakland A’s and then take on the New York Yankees after that. If they didn’t get things going and soon, they were staring at a possibility of going on a west coast road trip already around eight to ten games under .500.
But the Rays came back home and swept the A’s in three straight games, allowing only four runs in those three games. Alex Cobb, Jeremy Hellickson and Roberto Hernandez all had excellent starts. After Cobb allowed two runs in the top of the first inning on Friday, the A’s scored only two more runs the entire series. The bats got going immediately with four in the bottom of the first and other than the 1-0 win on Saturday, stayed hot, scoring eight runs twice in the series.
Then on Monday, with the Yankees coming to town with C.C. Sabathia on the mound, Matt Moore ran his record to 4-0 on the season with a 5-1 win. Moore, known for being a slow starter up until this year, became the first pitcher in Tampa Bay history to win his first four starts in a season.
The Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the first off of Sabathia. Brian Roberts and Yunel Esobar homered in the inning and Sean Rodriguez tripled in a run. That would be plenty of run support for Moore who went eight innings giving up only two hits and striking out nine while walking three. His ERA is now 1.04.
Tonight, the defending A.L. Cy Young Award winner, David Price takes the mound. The Rays are 0-4 in Price’s four starts so far. If Price can get going, and the rest of the rotation keeps pitching like they have been lately, the Rays could be back in the race very quickly. They are looking to get to .500 tonight with one game left with the Yanks before they leave to go on the road at the Chicago White Sox for four games, the Kansas City Royals for thee games and the Colorado Rockies for three games.
The Yankees are now 10-8 on the season and trail the Boston Red Sox in the A.L. East by 2.5 games and the second place Baltimore Orioles by a half game. The Rays are four games back and the Toronto Blue Jays are 5.5 behind at 8-12.