The Rays needed a victory Sunday to not only win the series versus the Yankees but to keep the division title in their sights. Unfortunately the Yankees took advantage of an ineffective Matt Moore and handed the Rays a 6-4 defeat.
Matt Moore in only 3 inning of work gave up 5R/ER on 3 hits while striking four and showing little command of the strike zone in walking 4. Moore was relieved by Brandon Gomes who gave up an unearned run in 1.1. innings of work and then Cesar Ramos, Wade Davis, J.P. Howell, and Burke Badenhop held the Yankees scoreless over the final 3.2 innings. With the loss Matt Moore drops to 10-11 on the year and the Rays fall to 78-68.
Hiroki Kuroda worked the first 6 innings and was touched for 4R/ER on 4 hits while striking out 10 and walking 2. Joe Girardi mixed and matched with Boone Logan, David Phelps, and David Robertson for the 7th and 8th innings before turning the ball over to Rafael Soriano to close the game in the ninth. With the win Hiroki Kuroda moves to 14-10 and the Yankees record improves to 83-63.
With today's loss the Rays will look to the Indians and Athletics for help as the Angels have already dropped the Royals. The Rays are now 5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East and remain 3 games behind the Orioles for the second wild card spot.
The Yankees jumped on Matt Moore for 5 runs in the 3rd inning. Eduardo Nunez walked to lead off the inning, stole second, and came around to score on a Derek Jeter single. Nick Swisher advanced Jeter to second on a sacrifice bunt and Jeter came around to score on a single by Alex Rodriguez. Moore displayed a lack of control and attention in a sequence that included a wild pitch allowing Rodriguez to reach second, a walk to Cano, and Rodriguez stealing 3rd to put runners at first and third before being taken deep by Russell Martin to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead. Later in the inning Moore threw up and behind the head of Curtis Granderson earning a warning from the home plate umpire which led to Joe Maddon being ejected.
Ben Zobrist got one run back in the top of the 4th with a solo homer but the Yankees came back to get the run right back in the bottom of the 4th on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Alex Rodriguez.
The Rays made the game interesting cutting the lead to 6-4 in the top of the sixth. Jose Lobaton walked, Desmond Jennings singled, and Ben Zobrist walked to load the bases with nobody out. Evan Longoria singled to score Lobaton and Jennings and Zobrist advanced to third and scored the Rays 4th run on a double play ball of the bat of Matt Joyce.