The Rays are a team that pride themselves on great defense, making the routine plays on a nightly basis. Last night, however, the defense was anything but. The sloppiness on the field defied belief in last night's game against Baltimore, as the Rays committed five errors by five different players, which ultimately cost them the ballgame. This loss—the way the Rays' lost it—could not come at a much worst time, as Joe Maddon made specific comments about the Rays' making the "little mistakes" after Friday night's game.
Matt Moore was on the mound for Tampa. Coming off the worst start in his big league career, where he allowed eight runs to Oakland, Moore had a much better start this time around. Although he failed to go deep again, he only allowed one earned run through the entire outing. When you first look at Moore's stat line after yesterday's game, it appears as he put up another inefficient start recording just 13 outs. But the truth is that the five errors destroyed his pitched count. Besides four walks—a high total for just 4.1 innings pitched—the sloppy defense was a major reason why Moore was not able to go deep into the game. Hopefully, the weaker contact is a sign that Moore is on the way up.
Here's a summary of one frustrating night of Rays Baseball:
The Rays struck first for the second straight night, via a solo homer from Brandon Guyer (first of the year). If you remember, Guyer blasted a three-run homer in his first ever MLB at-bat last season at Camden Yards.
The O's responded with two runs, however, as the Rays' miscues started to take effect. A two-run double by Steve Tolleson gave Baltimore the lead to top off the three-error inning. Sean Rodriguez—who took over at third base—allowed the leadoff runner on with a throwing error, which was followed by Guyer's error in left field that let a second run score on Tolleson's hit.
The Orioles broke open the game in the bottom of the fifth, as more errors turned into more runs for the opposition. Adam Jones lined a single up the middle to score two runs. The second run, however, may have not scored on the play if it wasn't for a B.J. Upton fielding error.That would be the end of Moore's night, as Wade Davis was called on to clean up the mess, and did just that.
The Rays would come right back in the sixth inning. A two-run single by Luke Scott would cut the 4-1 deficit to just one run, as well as knock Orioles starter Brian Matusz out of the game.
Baltimore's bullpen would be sharp, just as is has been all season, and pitched 3.1 perfect innings to secure their team another victory. The O's would tack on one more run in the game, as Bill Hall his a solo dinger of J.P. Howell in the eighth.
The Orioles' record improves to 22-12 as they take a two-game lead over Tampa in the division. The Rays are now 20-14 (7-11 on the road). New York is now just a half game behind the Rays, while Boston is now 5.5 games behind Tampa.
Notable stat lines from last night's game:
- M. Moore (L, 1-3): 4 H, ER (4 R), 4 BB, 6 K through 4.1 IP. ERA now 5.31.
- W. Davis: 0 R, 0 H, BB, 2 K through 1.2 IP
- B. Guyer: 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, E7
- L. Scott: 1-4, 2 RBI
- Hideki Matsui finished his four-game stint in extended spring training and is set to join Triple-A Durham this Tuesday. He went 8-18 with a home run; here's a first look at him on Sun Sports.
- Around the division: The Yankees beat Seattle 6-2, Boston beat Cleveland 4-1, and the Jays beat the Twins 2-1.
- Injury update: Matt Joyce is healthy, and Jose Lobaton has started his minor league rehab assignment, and the Rays are still waiting for Desmond Jennings to recover; no real update with him.
- Luke Scott received a Felix Pie doll as a welcome back gift in Baltimore.
- Over at RaysDigest.com, Curtis Girandola takes an extensive look at Matt Moore.
- The Rays look to salvage a game from the three-game series today at 1:35 ET first pitch. James Shields (5-1) is set to take the mound versus Jake Arrieta (2-3).