When the Rays made the "blockbuster" deal with the Kansas City Royals in the offseason, a team that already had very inconsistent offense became a team that lacked more than one bona fide ace (Shields left, leaving Price the only stud in the rotation). The Rays have had trouble winning on the road, and were 4-11 on the season entering tonight's game.
Luckily for Matt Moore and the rest of the bullpen, the "inconsistent offense" I touched on decided to show up, against one of the most balanced teams in all of baseball. While Rockies starter Jeff Francis has had an up-and-down career that has been primarily filled with "downs", he and Matt Moore both gave up 4 earned runs in 5 innings of work.
After Moore gave up homers in the first and second innings to dig himself and the team a 3-0 deficit, the Rays scored two runs in the 3rd inning courtesy of one-run doubles by Ryan Roberts and Ben Zobrist. In the 5th inning, Desmond Jennings hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot to straightaway center, giving the Rays a 4-3 lead.
Nolan Arenado tied the game at 4 in the fifth inning with a double, and the game remained tied until the 10th inning, when Evan Longoria singled home a run, and Kelly Johnson also hit his fourth homer of the year, also a two-run shot like Jennings'.
Unfortunately for Moore, holding one of the most complete offensive lineups in baseball to 4 runs earned him a No Decision; he is still undefeated on the season with a 5-0 record and a 1.95 ERA after tonight's game.
Kyle Farnsworth, of all people, managed to pick up the win, which is surprising because he is mostly used as the set-up man for another hard-throwing pitcher, closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney gave the Rays a bit of a scare when he allowed two hits after coming in to do what he does best: close games. The two hits ended up being moot, since he struck out Eric Young Jr. swinging to end the game.
For a team that now has a 5-11 record on the road, this win should give Joe Maddon a sense of optimism. Not only did the bullpen manage to tame, not to beat a dead horse, one of the most complete lineups (offensively) in the entire league, but the Rays' bats had some life in them.
Notable Stats from Tonight's Game:
D. Jennings: 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI
K. Johnson: 1-4, R, HR, 2 RBI
F. Rodney: IP, 2 H, 2 SO, SV(4)