When Kirby Yates is pitching the game is either going very well or very bad. Tonight happened to be the latter.
Matt Moore's second start since being recalled from Triple-A Durham wasn't close to being as successful as his first. In that first start he looked to be his old self for the first four innings, locating everything effectively and using his offspeed pitches to perfection. That wasn't the case tonight. Moore failed to command his fastball, leaving it over the middle of the plate a time or ten and paid dearly for it.
After two infield singles in the first inning, Moore left one of those aforementioned fastball's over the middle of the plate to David Ortiz, and Ortiz did what he'd done many times in that situation and crushed it over the right field wall for his 499th career home run. Moore saw his deficit mount to 5-0 in the third inning after just seven pitches as Mookie Betts and Dustin Predroia hit back-to-back home runs on elevated fastballs. The two runs the Red Sox would score in the fourth inning weren't all Moore's fault. With two outs, Asdrubal Cabrera was unable to field a Bett's grounder cleanly, allowing a runner to advance to third. Betts then stole second and both runners would score on a double from Pedroia.
David Ortiz lead off the fifth inning and crushed a hanging slider into next week for his 500th home run. He becomes the 27th player in MLB history with 500 homers and the fourth to do it in a Rays uniform. As much as he's annoyed Rays players and fans over the years, he's been a great hitter and the accolades are well deserved.
The mop up crew of Yates, C.J. Riefenhauser, Matt Andriese, and Andrew Bellatti finished out the game, with Riefenhauser getting tagged for two runs in his inning of work.
Offensively, the Rays couldn't carry over their hot hitting from last night to today. They scored four runs and picked up seven hits but were 0-4 with runners in scoring position and didn't get much to hit off Rick Porcello until the fifth inning when John Jaso launched a two-run homer to right field that nearly hit the video board. He'd allow one more run in the seventh on a double to rookie catcher Luke Maile who doubled in Daniel Nava for his first career hit. Richie Shaffer pinch hit in the eighth inning and hit an opposite field laser that just cleared the wall in right for his third home run.
Drew Smyly takes the hill tomorrow and it will be interesting to see exactly which pitcher he'll be. He's made five starts since coming off the disabled list and has alternated poor and good outings each time. He allowed four runs in five innings in his last start, so here's hoping the good trend continues.