Rays run streak to 8, Moore gets 13th win
- A strong start by Matt Moore, a swarm of offense and quality relief work made Thursday a good day for the Rays, as they beat the Twins 4-3 to complete a four-game sweep and extend their season-best winning streak to eight.
The streak matches the second longest in franchise history, done twiuce before. Overall, they have won 12 of 13 and 15 of 18 in improving to a season-best 13 games over at 53-40.
Moore, who got his 13th win, got off to a dazzling start, retiring the first 11 Twins in short order then, after a two-out walk to Joe Mauer in the fourth, six more until allowing the first of his two hits. The double by Brian Dozier and an ensuing single by Jamey Carroll briefly tied the game, but the Rays went back ahead in the bottom of the sixth.
The Rays scored first, when Sean Rodriguez, one of the usual subs who got to start, singled in the third, and Matt Joyce and rookie Wil Myers did the same.
They flexed some muscle to go ahead in the sixth. Sizzling Luke Scott crushed a home run that reached the back wall beyond rightfield and then Evan Longoria hit one to left, snapping his career-long 14-plus game stretch without even an extra-base hit. Myers singled in another run in the seventh.
Moore left in the eighth with two on, and Alex Torres, who had been so remarkably good for so long, faltered, loading the bases then allowing a two-run single that made it 4-3. But Joel Peralta got the Rays out of the eighth, and Jake McGee worked the ninth, Maddon staying away from Fernando Rodney after using him in three straight games. McGee earned his first big-league save.
Thursday's game started at 12:12, just 12 hours and 13 minutes after the end of of Wednesday's 4-3 13-inning marathon, and both teams looked a bit tired.
Rays manager Joe Maddon promised a different looking lineup, but it wasn't too radical as Evan Longoria felt good enogh to play third and James Loney was still fresh after a recent day off to play first. Regulars Desmond Jennings, Ben Zobrist and Yunel Escobar didn't start, though Zobrist and Escobar came in as defensive replacements.