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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Evan Longoria Injured?

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The perennial franchise star left yesterday's game after fouling a ball of his shin

Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Yesterday afternoon, the Rays and Phillies engaged in a game that was close until the Rays deployed the long ball from the sixth inning on and mashed their way to a five run victory.

Matt Moore received the start and continued to dazzle as he was easily locating most of his breaking pitches while usually hitting his spots with the fast stuff. Whatever he was throwing, it was effective as he struck out eight Philadelphia batters, pitching two outs into the fifth. He allowed just one run, a laser beam line drive from Ryan Howard -- who also, somehow doubled off of Moore -- that just barely cleared the right field wall.

Meanwhile, the Rays offense also provided some run support via the long ball, with Logan Forsythe starting the game by launching a ball deep into the seats in left. Forsythe also provided some excellent glove work at second, showing that the bruise that caused him to leave early on Tuesday was behind him.

After an out, Evan Longoria came up in the first and fouled one of the first pitches off of his left shin causing him to visibly grimace and limp off. He'd finish the at-bat by swinging at a breaking pitch in the dirt for a strikeout, but then would leave the game. It was revealed that he suffered a contusion -- a glorified bruise -- and should just be day to day.

Steve Pearce made his return to the Rays following a week long hiatus and with the game tied at one, he greeted Edward Mujica's entrance to the game with an absolute bomb that went over the left field bleachers and into the bullpens beyond. It was a hanging breaking ball, but the fact that Pearce and Forsythe were able to launch some very long home runs off of right handed pitchers is an excellent sign.

Richie Shaffer also decided to provide his home run swing -- which is any swing from him really -- as fouled off a 3-0 pitch and then hit a monster shot on the following delivery. Not to be outdone, after a walk, Mikie Mahtook gave another souvenir to the Irish out in left, making it 5-1 in favor of the Rays.

To go along with Matt Moore, the rest of the Rays pitching staff had impressive games with Kyle McPherson and Parker Markel had two strikeouts apiece during their scoreless appearances. Jake Hager added a run in the ninth, showing he could still be relevant in prospect discussions as he blasted a double and the Rays cruised to a 6-1 victory.

Links!

- Meet George Pappas, the official translator for the Rays who features quite the resume at just 24 years of age.

- Matt Moore just pitched a beautiful game for the Rays and all of his teammates have been impressed thus far

The beloved World Baseball Classic kicks off today with two qualifying games set to take place.

- Here is the most interesting story of the spring, Adam LaRoche suddenly announced his retirement due to him no longer being allowed to bring his teenage son to every game.

- Barry Bonds is 51 years old and he just obliterated his pupils in a home run hitting contest, including Giancarlo Stanton.