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)

Roberts, Rays rout Astros 12-0

HOUSTON — Ryan Roberts knows he still could be the one packing his bags for Triple-A Durham today.

With Evan Longoria's plantar fasciitis calming down, and ace lefty David Price coming off the disabled list, Roberts likely will be the player sent down to make room.

But what Roberts, 32, has learned through an admittedly "humbling" past few weeks is to appreciate every minute in the big leagues. And he certainly played like he wanted to stay in Monday's 12-0 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park, ripping two home runs in a three-hit night.

"That's the way to play every single game," Roberts said. "In this game, you never know when it could be your last."

There were plenty of stars as the Rays (44-39) routed the American League West cellar-dwellers. Lefty Matt Moore had a sharp, seven-inning start. James Loney extended his hitting streak to 12 games and picked up his 500th career RBI. Sean Rodriguez had his first four-hit night, and Sam Fuld and Jose Lobaton each racked up three.

"There were some new heroes today," manager Joe Maddon said. "And everybody was involved."

But it was Roberts, making his first start since June 11, who might have made a lasting impression. He was called up Saturday after spending the past couple of weeks in the minors, his first stint there since the 2010 season, having been unexpectedly optioned June 11 due to the callup of touted prospect Wil Myers.

Roberts said he wasn't bitter or angry, just sad. He shaved his beard for the first time in years, and he wore his pants legs up like the other minor leaguers. He admitted he might have taken for granted the many perks of the majors.

But Maddon said Roberts came back Saturday saying all the right things, with a "fabulous" attitude. And it paid off Monday, with a two-run homer in the third and a solo shot in the eighth.

"He was ready to play," Maddon said. "That was beautiful to watch."

Maddon admitted he was a little concerned his team would have a letdown following the emotional homestand against the Blue Jays and Tigers, and starting a stretch of 14 games against three of the American League's worst teams.

But the Rays came through with a complete performance, from top to bottom. Moore won his third straight decision, striking out nine in seven two-hit innings.

"Matt just kept getting better," Maddon said.

Moore got help from his defense, with double plays ending the first and fourth innings. Shortstop Yunel Escobar made a spectacular play — and throw— to end the fifth. "That was huge," Moore said.

The Rays had six, two-out RBI singles in all, four in the seventh inning alone. "I thought we were grinding at-bats all game," Maddon said.

Roberts won't know his fate until today, but he made the decision tougher.

"I give him a lot of credit," Maddon said. "It's not easy playing in the big leagues as long as he has, go back, regroup and come back and contribute to a win in a big way."

Roberts, Rays rout Astros 12-0 07/01/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. College World Series: Gators, LSU face off in all-SEC finals

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The matchup for the College World Series finals bolsters the case for those who say the best baseball in the land is played in the SEC.

    Florida’s Brady Singer, delivering during a CWS win over Louisville last week, is scheduled to start tonight against LSU.
  2. Jones: Fox Sports Sun shows depth in Rays coverage

    TV and Radio

    tom jones' two cents

    Tampa Bay Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) makes a run home for a score in the in the final game of a three-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays and AL East rival the Baltimore Orioles at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, June 25, 2017.
  3. Brian Boyle says returning to Lightning a 'huge option'

    Blogs

    As former Lightning forward Brian Boyle approaches free agency this week, he said he's trying to stay busy.

    Former Tampa Bay Lightning player center Brian Boyle (24), on the ice during first period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa on March 16, 2017.
  4. Rays journal: Blake Snell to rejoin rotation, Erasmo Ramirez heads to bullpen

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — LHP Blake Snell is rejoining the Rays' rotation, but the move has as much to do with helping the bullpen as it does with Snell's improvement during his time at Triple-A Durham.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Erasmo Ramirez (30) delivers a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday, June 21, 2017 in St. Petersburg.
  5. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.