Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays top Red Sox; Moore improves to 7-0

ST. PETERSBURG

The headlines from Tuesday's 5-3 win over the Red Sox belong to Matt Moore, who became the first American League pitcher to seven wins, and a perfect seven at that, and the first in Rays history to be 7-0.

"That's pretty incredible," manager Joe Maddon said.

But the story line of how the Rays got there was much more intriguing, a combination of a swing that wasn't supposed to be a swing, a dash to third by the least dashing of the Rays and a towering popup that somehow plopped down in front of first base and scored their last two runs.

"That's the Rays way, I guess," said Matt Joyce, who hit the popup. "The thing about it is we've had some things go against us. A lot of other teams have had bloop hits and what not. It's good karma. I think we've been playing good baseball. So I think we've earned it."

The bottom line was the Rays, before a Trop gathering of 15,227, won their sixth straight, extending their season-best streak and moving two games over .500, at 20-18, for the first time this year. A day that started with a four-piece band, Tampa's Sol Caribe, playing Latin dance music in their clubhouse — Maddon's latest keep-the-team loose gimmick — ended with the standard post-victory dance to Pitbull's Don't Stop the Party.

Down after Moore allowed a three-run first-inning homer to David Ortiz — after the Red Sox got a break when Dustin Pedroia's grounder hit third base and became a double — the Rays got all their runs in a bizarre fourth inning.

The rally came from simple beginnings: singles by Evan Longoria and James Loney, who increased his major-league-leading average to .381.

Luke Scott tried to check his swing on a 1-0 pitch from John Lackey but instead blooped the ball into shallow left for an excuse-me double, scoring one and putting men on second and third.

"That was a break we needed," catcher Jose Molina said.

Molina made it matter with the second of his three hits, singling in Loney and Scott to tie it at 3. Yunel Escobar followed with a single, setting up a mad dash as Molina tagged from second to third and Escobar moved to second.

"Sometimes you just have to take risks," Molina said. "Sometimes it's easier for me to score from third base than second. You have to take advantage of the situation. They know you're not the fastest, but you're not the stupidest, either."

That mattered because the Rays then got their biggest break, the popup by Joyce than went about 200 feet up into the white background of the Trop roof and only about 80 feet from home plate, but dropped in front of Sox first baseman Mike Napoli, with both runners scoring.

"Didn't make the play," Napoli said. "Saw it up, saw it and overran it."

It was a bit of a two-for-one break. Once the ball landed, Pedroia smartly waited for it roll foul, but it stopped just inside the line, a credit, Maddon said, to Dan Moeller's grounds crew.

"Just enough backspin to keep it fair," Joyce joked.

Overall, the win was the sum of many parts: Moore going six innings without his best fastball, the bullpen doing more work, timely hitting, some breaks and maybe some help from above.

"Here at the Trop, everybody knows that anything can happen with that roof," Joyce said. "It can be our best friend or our worst nightmare. We've seen both sides of it. (Tuesday) it went our way."

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: Video highlights

Rays top Red Sox; Moore improves to 7-0 05/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 12:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. L.A. delay could re-open Super Bowl chance for Tampa in 2021

    Blogs

    Construction delays on the NFL's new stadium in Los Angeles mean the Rams and Chargers won't be playing there until 2020, a year later than expected, and the ripple effect could give Tampa another chance at landing a Super Bowl in February 2021.

    Tampa and Raymond James Stadium last hosted a Super Bowl in 2009, when the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.
  2. Bucs' Gerald McCoy, Jameis Winston honored in NFL top 100

    Blogs

    Helping fans pass time through the offseason each summer, NFL Network has been unveiling its top 100 players for 2017 as chosen by the players, and the Bucs' Gerald McCoy and Jameis Winston are the first Tampa Bay players revealed, coming in at No. 52 and 57, respectively.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis WInston and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy, shown in the 2016 season finale against the Panthers, have both been named to the NFL Network's top 100 players for 2017.
  3. The play occurred in the third inning when Angels rookie Nolan Fontana, making his major league debut, tried to slide past the tag of Rays second baseman Michael Martinez.
  4. Former Gator Caleb Brantley paying a steep price for nothing

    Bucs

    It turns out Caleb Brantley isn't quite the dirtbag that millions of people presumed. It's too bad the damage to his reputation and bank account is already done.

    Caleb Brantley, who dropped to the sixth round of the draft, works out during Browns rookie minicamp. [Associated Press]
  5. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Daniel Robertson walks off the field after being left stranded at first base to end the game.