Up until tonight, Ben Zobrist has not played up to the contract he was given two seasons ago, as he has had a slow start to the 2012 season. Against the talent-stacked Marlins last night, Zobrist hit two bombs, and drove in four of the Rays thriteen runs, and the Rays secured the series win, with a chance to sweep this afternoon.
Matt Moore seems to be settling down, as this is his second win in a row in as many starts. Although he did give up four runs, he pitched 6 relatively-solid innings, striking out nine and minimalizing the walks, which has been a problem as of late. Moore was just one bad inning (the sixth) away from a scoreless start, as he pitched five scoreless frames only to serve up four runs in the sixth.
Jose Molina, who is performing a little bit under his career average (which is outrageously low) had a double and three RBIs, while Elliot Johnson went 4-5 and also drove also drove in three runs. These are actually surpising contributions, especially from two players who's careers have been plagued by inconsistency (more so Molina than Johnson).
The Rays are now 34-25 and remain alone in first place atop the division. The Yankees beat the Mets 4-2 yesterday, and stay just a half-game back. The Orioles topped the Phillies, but remain in third a game out. The Red Sox dropped their second straight game at Fenway to the Nationals, and currently sit in last five games behind.
Notables from last night's game:
M. Moore(TAM): 6 IP (W,3-5), 5 H, 4 ER, 2BB, 9 K
B. Zobrist(TAM): 3-3, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 HR, 4 RBI
E. Johnson(TAM): 4-5, 2 R, 3 RBI
J. Molina(TAM): 2-4, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI
Rays news and notes:
- James Shields (6-4, 4.27 ERA) and the Rays go for the sweep in Miami today against Anibal Sanchez (3-4, 3.19 ERA) and the Fish. First pitch is at 1:10 PM.
- At BleacherReport.com, New England native Benjamin Klein gives some inside info on Rays' 37th round draft pick Rob Finneran. Although not a familiar face nationally, Finneran in a well-known name in the New England region where most believe he was an absolute steal for the Rays in the 37th round.
- Jason Hansleman had two interesting pieces yesterday, one on the aftermath of Evan Longoria's hamstring injury, and one on the slumps of Carlos Pena and Luke Scott. They're good reads to check out if you haven't already.