After last night's game in which they only managed to get two hits, the Rays' bats came back to life with six hits and eight runs. Although they were outscored, the Orioles once again outhit the Rays, this time to the tune of 12-6, yet somehow managed to lose this afternoon's game. Three costly errors made by Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, and Steve Tolleson resulted in two extra, unearned runs for the Rays, which gave them a little bit of breathing room in a game which was relatively close throughout, despite the final score.
Matt Wieters got the game started with a solo homer off Matt Moore in the second, but the Rays struck right back when Matt Joyce hit a sac fly to center, scoring Pena, but an errant throw by Adam Jones allowed Upton to score as well.
After an RBI single in the fifth by struggling third baseman Mark Reynolds, the Rays would go on to score six runs [total] in the fifth and sixth inning, making it a six-run game. In those two innings: BJ Upton doubled home two, a double by Zobrist became a run after Matt Wieter's error, Elliot Johnson singled home a run, an error on a fielder's choice allowed Sean Rodriguez to score, and Carlos Pena hit a sac fly to center (scoring Elliot Johnson). That's quit a bit of mishaps on the part of Baltimore, but you can rest assured that the Rays aren't complaining about the extra two runs they got due to their opponent's fielding blunders.
Matt Moore continues his 2012 turnaround, as most his early season struggles seem to be well behind him. He pitched six good innings and got the win, but gave up seven hits, which further brings to light the problem he's been having all season: allowing too many hitters to get on base. Despite his inability to pitch around hitters, he was only responsible for one run, and the second run was a result of an Elliot Johnson error.
A win due to sloppiness on the opposing team's part may not be the most "dignified" way to achieve first in the division, but the Rays will take it at this point, as the Yankees and Red Sox are looming not too far behind. The Yankees won 5-1 yesterday in Detroit, and Boston lost by the same score to Toronto. New York remains 1.5 games out of first, and they're now just a half-game behind the slumping O's. Boston sits at the bottom of the division tied with Toronto three games back, which just shows how tight the AL East is.
Notables from this afternoon's game:
M. Moore(TAM):(W) 6 IP, 7 H, ER (2 R), 3 BB, 4 K
BJ Upton(TAM): 2-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
M. Reynolds(BAL): 3-5, HR, 2 RBI
M. Wieters(BAL): 3-4, HR, 2 RBI
Rays news and notes:
- After an off-day today, the Rays will take on the Yankees Tuesday night in New York. James Shields (6-3, 3.95 ERA) will take on Andy Pettitte (2-2, 3.49 ERA) at 7:05 PM first pitch.
- Desmond Jennings—who [probably] finished his minor league rehab assignment 2-11—will likely rejoin the Rays for their three-game set in the Bronx this Tuesday.
- The Rays will pick 25th in tonight's 2012 MLB Draft, which will have a much different look for the Rays after 2011's unique draft. Read more about it on The Rays Way's Rays Draft Preview.