Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays beat Seattle Mariners 3-1, ninth win in 10 games

ST. PETERSBURG — Matt Joyce said Evan Longoria leaves some "very big shoes to fill," with different Rays having to rise to the occasion while the star third baseman is out six to eight weeks with a partially torn hamstring.

On Tuesday, it was Joyce's turn, filling Longoria's third spot in the order quite nicely in ripping a homer and an RBI triple to lift the Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Mariners in front of 9,972 at Tropicana Field. For Tampa Bay (16-8), it was its ninth win in its past 10 games.

And manager Joe Maddon said Joyce could see more time in the No. 3 hole against right-handers, against whom he entered Tuesday hitting .327.

"I feel very comfortable in the middle of the order, wherever it may be," said Joyce, who has a team-leading six homers. "I'm up for anything."

Joyce provided nearly all of the Rays offense, which mustered just three hits, none after the third inning; it was just the 10th time in club history that the Rays have won when recording three hits or fewer. But it was enough to help rookie lefty Matt Moore get his first victory of the season, albeit in an abbreviated five-inning outing.

Moore (1-1) looked sharp at times, striking out seven and walking just one, saying he felt some growth with his curveball. But he said he wasn't attacking — and finishing — hitters enough early in counts, with a lot of foul balls leading to a 101-pitch count.

Tuesday "was a shorter day for me, five innings is not the way any of us want to go," Moore said. "I think it's just a matter of me trusting the ball over the plate a little more. I don't know if it looks like I'm nibbling, but it feels like the ball is going over the plate and then it's just off the plate. But I feel like we're on the way up right now."

Moore credited the bullpen for picking him up, with Burke Badenhop throwing two scoreless innings, Joel Peralta taking the eighth and Fernando Rodney striking out the side in the ninth for his eighth save in as many opportunities.

"They were outstanding," Moore said.

Ben Zobrist might not be hitting the ball extremely well now (.198 average), but he has been able to find his way on base in the second spot of the order. And Zobrist started the Rays' first-inning rally with his AL-leading 20th walk of the season. Joyce followed with a triple off the centerfield wall.

"He understands to set the table is very important," Maddon said. "That's where the value is of a Ben Zobrist."

Joyce actually felt the triple was hit harder than his home run, which sailed 362 feet into the rightfield seats.

"It's weird how that works, isn't it?" Joyce said. "I told (hitting coach) Derek (Shelton) that I need to work out a little bit more or something. But it worked out well the next at-bat."

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Rays 3

Mariners 1

Tampa Bay Rays beat Seattle Mariners 3-1, ninth win in 10 games 05/01/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 10:52am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter to Bucs: Take your complaints to someone who can help


    TAMPA — It was just another day of aching bellies at One Save Face.

    Dirk Koetter: “All of our issues are self-inflicted right now.”
  2. Bucs journal: Few complaints about Jameis Winston's play


    TAMPA — It wasn't enough to pull out a win Sunday at Buffalo, but a week removed from a shoulder sprain, Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns against the NFL's No. 2 pass defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Brent Grimes (24) signs autographs for fans before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn., on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017.
  3. Lightning's Jon Cooper uses unusual tactic to create mismatches

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Tyler Johnson is about to swing his left leg over the boards for his next shift alongside linemate Alex Killorn and … who else?

    Stamkos? Kucherov? Point?

    Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper argues the called as his team gets a faceoff violation, leading to penalty and #Caps PP goal, during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (10/09/17).DIRK SHADD   |   Times
  4. A buzz-worthy look at the Astros-Dodgers World Series matchup

    The Heater

    Houston Astros' Yuli Gurriel is congratulated by Jose Altuve after scoring during the fifth inning of Game 7 of baseball's American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) TXMG170
  5. Florida, FSU try to ignore death threats, angry fans


    GAINESVILLE — Frustration over uncharacteristically down seasons at Florida and Florida State has started to spill over from message boards and start crossing real-world lines.

    Fans watch the Florida Gators game against Texas A&M, at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, in Gainesville, Fla. At the half, Florida was up 10 to 3.