Yes, it was the Astros, but the Rays had a no-questions-asked 12-0 win courtesy of a strong pitching performance from Matt Moore and an offensive outburst, particularly from the seven-eight-nine trio of Ryan Roberts, Jose Lobaton and Sam Fuld.
Matt Moore looked like the Moore of early 2013, going seven innings and only allowing two hits and striking out nine. He threw 101 pitches, 61 for strikes, and did not face more than four batters in any inning.
In the first Moore walked Jose Altuve on four pitches, but Lobaton trotted to the mound, and must have said the right thing, because Moore then got Juan Castro to hit a grounder straight to Loney, who stepped on the bag for one out and then ran Altuve down to complete the unassisted double play.
The only real inning of "trouble" for Moore was in the fourth, when he walked Jason Castro, then Chris Carter proceeded to crush a pitch into center field to advance Castro to third. Moore then hit 95 on his fastball to strike out J.D. Martinez. Matt Dominguez stepped to the plate and hit into a Ben Zobrist - Yunel Escobar - James Loney double play scenario.
Ryan Roberts, Jose Lobaton and Sam Fuld - the unlikely offensive heros of the game. The trio went nine-for-15, hitting six RBI and scoring six runs. The only other time in Rays history the seven-eight-nine hitters have combined for nine hits was in a 17-2 win against Baltimore September 5th, 2007. The trio? Jonny Gomes, Dioner Navarro and Josh Wilson.
Roberts had himself a night, going three-for-five with two home runs. If Evan Longoria avoids a trip to the DL tomorrow when David Price is activated, Roberts could be saying hello to Durham, and if this is indeed the case, he certainly made sure Joe Maddon won't be forgetting about him any time soon.
With his three-for-three day Sunday as well, Lobaton became the first Rays catcher with back-to-back three-hit games since Dioner Navarro from August 8th-10th, 2007. In the bottom of the seventh Lobaton also impressed defensively, throwing a quick, higher-than-usual barehanded throw to make the out at first.
Seventh and Eighth Innings
The Rays tacked on seven runs between the seventh and eighth innings, and James Loney began the offensive outburst with a single in the seventh, extending his hitting streak to 12 games. In the third he hit his 500th career RBI.
The singles kept coming, as Lobaton, Fuld, Desmond Jennings, Sean Rodriguez and Wil Myers hit safely in the inning as well; adding on four runs and giving the Rays a nine run lead.
In the eighth Roberts hit his second home run of the game, followed by a single from Lobaton and walk from Desmond Jennings, which were both knocked in via a double from Sean Rodriguez; providing the Rays their 11th and 12th runs on the night.
- The Rays went eight-for-15 with RISP and eight-for-12 with RISP and two outs.
- Myers had one hit, one run, one RBI and two walks as the DH in the three-spot, and has now has a hit in 12 of his last 13 games.
- Not to be forgotten in the two-spot, Rodriguez had a career high four hits with three RBIs.
- Escobar made a heck of a play in the 5th to make an out at first, and though it looked as if Escobar got lucky upon replay (Astros manager Bo Porter had a nice chat with the umps between innings), his effort and reach was impressive. He also extended his streak of 39 straight games without an error, the longest current streak of any shortstop.
- Cesar Ramos had two innings of scoreless relief to close out the game, allowing zero hits and combining with Moore for 11 strikeouts.