Well, that was a relief.
The Ben Zobrist double came at about 11:30 PM, meaning that, if you so chose, you could go to sleep happy.
We're just going to have bullets today:
- The Rays got on the board in the top of the second with a James Loney single, a Wil Myers double, and a Kelly Johnson RBI single. The next to batters struck out, stranding Myers at third.
- In the bottom of the second, the Rays gave up their early one run lead, as they've been apt to do recently. Erick Aybar got on with a double and then Matt Moore walked Peter Bourjos. Moore got a ground ball to short from Collin Cowgill, but Bourjos got to second in a hurry, Ben Zobrist rushed his turn, and he threw the ball in the dirt and past Loney, allowing Aybar to score. The run was unearned, and it was he only run the Rays would give up last night.
- In the top of the third, Desmond Jennings tagged a Jason Vargas 87 mph fastball on the outside corner to deep left center, to take back the lead.
- Later on in the inning, Delmon Young, batting cleanup, got his second first hit as a Ray, a first pitch line drive single into left. That hit loaded the bases with no outs, but Loney hit into a 5-2-3 double play, and Myers struck out to end the inning.
- The Rays finally took a more commanding lead when Zobrist doubled in two in the fourth inning. They weren't done, though.
- In the top of the fifth, Young got on board again with another single into left field. Loney singled to move Young to third base and chase Vargas from the game, bringing on left hander Juan Gutierrez. The Rays would have yet another hitter thrown out at home. Myers chopped to third base, and Young, moving on contact was caught in a rundown. With two outs, though, Jose Lobaton would pick up an RBI when he smacked a line drive up the middle. Loney scored, but Myers held up for a moment at second base to see the throw. He decided he could run on it, but it was the wrong decision. The throw hit the cutoff man, and Myers was thrown out at third. Luckily, he had waited just long enough to allow the slower Loney to reach the plate before he made it to third, and the run counted.
Yunel Escobar homered to right center field in the top of the sixth. Crazy to have a shortstop with power to opposite field.
- The Rays got their seventh run in the seventh inning when Wil Myers doubled, moved to third on a groundout, and then came home on a wild pitch.
- Matt Moore threw 94 pitches and completed five and a third innings (just as Jim Hickey said he would, during the broadcast). His fastball averaged just under 93 mph, and reached just under 96 mph. He looked sharp, throwing over 50% fastballs, and breaking out curves and changeups pretty equally for the rest He struck out six batters but walked four. All of his pitches got a whiff a bit over 10% of the time. It wasn't Moore's best performance, but it's still nice to have him back.
- The return of Moore finally moves Roberto Hernandez to the bullpen full time, and he was fantastic in his new role. His fastball reached 94.5 mph, which is a tick higher than usual, and he made the most of it. He struck out the first five batters he faced, all on changeups. Hitters whiffed at his changeup a third of the time that he threw it. He also threw his slider 10 times, producing three whiffs. Overall, Hernandez faced 11 hitters. He allowed none to reach base, and struck out seven. I'm coming around to the idea of carrying "extra" starters throughout the season. It means that you can move them to the bullpen in September, and starters in the bullpen are generally money.
- Rays Tank will be coming. You'll need to bear with me on the west coast trip.