Today's matinee was a tale of two pitchers:
One is a young stud lefty who was lights out while pitching a seven inning gem. Showing a lot of poise, he dug himself out of the only trouble he found himself in and even took a no-hitter into the 6th inning. He'll earn less than 3 million bucks this season.
The other is a struggling future reliever, with an ERA quickly approaching 5.00, who labored through six innings of work today while giving up nine hits and four runs. He'll be paid roughly 31 million dollars this season to wear a red B on his hat and operate his dog's twitter account.
Matt Moore was a stud all day, but don't overlook for a second the impact that Brandon Guyer had on his first game back from the disabled list. In the second inning, Guyer lifted one of David Price's garbage fastballs just about into the Ducky's deck in left center to put the Rays up 1-0 early.
The fun continued in the third, with RBIs from Evan Longoria, a newly hot Desmond Jennings and Brandon Guyer. That put the Rays up 4-0 in the third inning. It was a lead they would not relinquish.
Matt Moore was solid all day, like I mentioned above, but his sixth inning may have been the most memorable. In the past, Moore's hot starts would occasionally be derailed by a rough inning later in the game. The sixth began to show those signs again, but Moore would shut the door this time and keep it scoreless. After losing the no-hitter and giving up singles to Christian Vazquez, Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts to load the bases with one out, Moore dug himself out of the jam by popping up David Ortiz and allowing Hanley Ramirez to hit a weak fly ball to Brandon Guyer ::swoon:: to end the inning and the threat.
Erasmo and Cedeno handled the 8th and 9th, and the Rays rode that 4-0 lead to the win and the series victory over the most hated franchise in professional sports.
The Rays will continue their homestand, with a 33-44 record, as they welcome Detroit's Tigers to St Pete. Tomorrow night, we'll see Jake Odorizzi toe the rubber against Jordan Zimmerman.