Longoria and Co. Pound Jays
Joe Maddon can't seem to keep his temper in check. Fortunately for him, though, the Rays were already putting a beat-down on the Blue Jays, so his absence wasn't felt at all.
Matt Moore got the nod for tonight's start against the Jays, already having one of the best starts to the 2013 season in the American League, posting a 5-0 record with an ERA under 2 entering tonight's game.
His performance might not have been of the same electrifying nature as Mets' phenom Matt Harvey, but it ended with another notch in the "W" column, giving Moore a perfect 6-0 record on the season. Moore lasted only lasted until the 6th inning, throwing an incredibly high number of pitches (104) for such a minimal number of innings pitched (5). Still, his only blemish came in the very first inning, when he gave up a two-run homer to Edwin Encarnacion, which isn't something to be ashamed of when you consider Encarnacion is one of the premiere sluggers in the game today.
On the other side of the ball, Jays starter Ricky Romero only lasted 0.1 innings after being tagged for 3 runs off of 4 hits. His replacement, Edgar Gonzalez, fared worse: 4.2 innings of work, 6 hits allowed, 5 earned runs and 2 walks while giving up 2 home runs.
Romero and Gonzalez were roughed up badly, to say the least, courtesy of Evan Longoria, Kelly Johnson, James Loney, and Luke Scott. Longoria and Johnson both went 3-4 with a home run, and the two combined for 5 RBIs alone (Longoria with 3, Johnson with 2). Luke Scott and James Loney also drove in two runs apiece, with all four of the key run producers providing more than enough support for Moore to remain perfect on the season.
With all the speculation as to when Wil Myers is going to get called-up, nights like this one give hope to Rays fans that, when Myers gets the call soon, the tables will turn for the struggling Rays. Myers, speaking of which, is hitting a respectable .274 in Durham (AAA), but has struck out 40 times while only driving in 17 runs (he also only has 3 homers); this is a major concern for Maddon and the rest of the coaching staff, since things will only get harder once Myers gets the call.
Still, there are a lot of positives for Maddon's temper-tantrum self to take away from tonight's game: (1) the offense can score double-digit runs when necessary, (2) Matt Moore's "Sophomore Slump" has yet to take effect (knock on wood), and (3) Longoria is not showing signs of letting up/not tearing the cover off the ball.
Game 4 of this four game series is tomorrow night at 7:10, with the struggling R.A. Dickey (2-5, 5.36 ERA) taking the mound for the Jays against the equally-struggling David Price (1-3, 6.25 ERA).
Notable Stats from Tonight's Game:
M. Moore: (W, 6-0) 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO
E. Longoria: 3-4, R, 2B, HR(8), 3 RBI
K. Johnson: 3-4, 3 R, 2B, HR(5), 2 RBI
J. Loney: 2-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI
L. Scott: 1-3, 2 RBI
B. Zobrist: 1-3, 3 R, 2 BB, RBI