Man, it feels good to win a series!
After attending last night's win at Tropicana Field, I knew I had to bring my A-Game today for my first recap of the 2016 season. Ya know who else brought their A-Game today? Matt freaking Moore. Matty Mo was solid over 6 1/3, dialing up ten strikeouts and giving up just two runs on five hits. He had his fastball tuned up to a comfortable 94, and the White Sox had very few answers all day.
Matt didn't do it alone either. Brandon Guyer kept his hot streak alive from the night before and went 4/4 with an RBI and two runs today. For that, he was rewarded with a well-deserved ice bath courtesy of Chris Archer after the game.
After Moore needed just ten pitches to wrap up the top of the first, the Rays got on the board early in the bottom of the frame. After a Brandon Guyer single, Steve Pearce launched a rocket off the center field wall in front of Ducky's to send Guyer home from first base to put the Rays out to an early 1-0 lead.
Jose Quintana was no slouch for the White Sox today either. The crafty lefty struck out three in the 1st and two in the 2nd while recording six Tampa Bay K's on the day.
The White Sox tied the game in bizarre fashion in the top of the 3rd. After Avisail Garcia reached on a hit-by-pitch, Adam Eaton hit a grounder to Steve Pearce and hustled down the line to first base. In a footrace, Moore charged toward the bag himself while he fielded the toss. Their feet seemed to touch first base at the exact same time, but Eaton was ruled safe. Kevin Cash had the play reviewed, and during that process, you could see that Matt Moore short-stepped a couple of times on his way to first and his poor footwork cost him a hit that would later amount to a run. The call was upheld.
With Eaton now safely on first, Austin Jackson took Matt Moore's offering to right field to score Garcia and tie the game 1-1.
In the bottom of the 3rd, after Logan Forsythe doubled and advanced to third on a wild pitch, Brandon Guyer hit his second single of the game to left, this one of the RBI variety. Frosty crossed the plate to put the Rays back on top 2-1. With Guyer and Longo on base, the ice cold Logan Morrison reached base just about the only way he can right now. LoMo hit a lame tapper to first base, but as Quintana ran to cover first, the throw came a little late and he was well past the bag, allowing Morrison to reach base on an error, a run to score and the inning to continue. 3-1 Rays.
Unfortunately, LoMo's antics didn't end there. Almost immediately after, Morrison was way off the bag and easily gunned down with a pickoff throw from Dioner Navarro. The slumping Ray tumbled over Jose Abreu as he ungracefully tried to get back to the bag, adding more footage to his blooper reel April performance thus far. I have no idea what he was doing there. Feel free to explain in the comments if you saw something I didn't.
In the top of the 7th, it looked like Moore was beginning to tire. After leaving a fastball or two over the plate, he left a changeup high in the zone for Garcia to drive to centerfield to score Brett Lawrie, trimming the Rays lead to one. Enny Romero came in to finish the frame, and he and Alex Colome kept the Southsiders off the board for the rest of the affair, as Alex Colome recorded his first career save over five outs.
The final score was 3-2 Rays, bringing their record to 5-7 on the season. After an off day tomorrow, the Rays will pack their bags and be shipped up to Boston for a three game series against the bad guys, deep in the armpit of America. Everyone fire up your anime-themed alts and join us at Over The Monster to see Drew Smyly toe the rubber against Joe Kelly Tuesday night. It begins...
- In the bottom of the 4th, Brett Lawrie made a nifty play as he fielded a Brad Miller liner that deflected off of Abreu's glove at first base, and managed to record the out.
- In the bottom of the 8th, Navi brought his gun back out. He threw Brandon Guyer out while attempting to steal second base. If my numbers are correct, the Rays are 4/9 on steals this season
- There are two things I've been dreading this season... three if you count LoMo's at bats. I've been dreading David Price's first game at Tropicana Field in a Boston jersey, and I've been dreading the first time we have to face him up there. I'm not sure if the Rays will face him this series or not, but if it has to happen, I hope it's on Wednesday night (4/20!) against his protege Chris Archer. Those two are quite possibly my favorite Rays of all time, and the storyline would be irresistible.
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