Matt Moore’s struggles continued on Saturday, as the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 11-7. Despite an impressive rally from a six run deficit, the Rays have dropped their last three games to fall three games under .500 for the first time this season.
Boston took the lead in the first inning when Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts singled to start the frame. Holt moved up to third on a David Ortiz fly-ball out to deep right. Hanley Ramirez followed by lining a sac fly to center off the Rays lefty for a one-run advantage.
Tampa Bay cut what was a 6-0 deficit to 7-6 in the top of the sixth. However, Boston answered right back in the seventh against the Rays third pitcher, Steve Geltz. David Ortiz walked to start the inning, and after Geltz retired the next two batters, he walked Travis Shaw, and then wild pitched the runners to second and third. Rusney Castillo then singled to right to score both runners, giving Boston a three-run cushion again.
Boston pounced on Moore in the second, who has now allowed 26 earned runs in 26-2/3 innings. Travis Shaw and Rusney Castillo each hit opposite field doubles for a 2-0 lead, then former Ray Ryan Hanigan singled to left, and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked to load the bases.
After a Holt plated a run on sac-fly, Bogaerts hit a two-run double to right to put the Red Sox ahead by five runs. Shaw, who was called up from Triple-A before the game, crushed a homer to right-center in the third for a commanding 6-0 lead.
Yet the Rays began a three inning rally in the fourth inning against Joe Kelly. Steven Souza Jr. singled to right and Evan Longoria walked. James Loney, who’s been in the throes of an ugly slump, lined a single to right, and Logan Forysthe followed with a two-run single to center. Kelly bouned back to retire the next three batters.
Tampa Bay continued their rally in the fifth by putting up a pair of runs. John Jaso reached on an infield hit, and Souza, who later left the game with a fractured hand (more on that below), was hit by a pitch. Longoria and Loney followed with back-to-back RBI singles to bring Tampa Bay within two.
Taking the hill in relief of Moore, Alex Colome allowed a two-out run in the fifth after he walked two batters with two outs, consequently loading the bases. Bogaerts singled up the middle to drive in a run, but The Outlaw cut down Bradley trying to score a second run, keeping the Rays within three.
Kevin Kiermaier then singled in Asdrubal Cabrera, who previously reached on a double, in the sixth to chase Kelly and bring the Rays within two. However, Kiermaier was gunned down by Hanigan at third later in the inning. Although he appeared to get in under the tag, the play was reviewed, and the call stood. That call was important, because Brandon Guyer followed with an RBI double against Justin Masterson to get the Rays within a run. Yet that was as close as the Rays would get.
Tampa Bay put two on with two outs in the eighth, but the right handed reliever Jean Machi fanned Guyer, the tying run, to end that rally.
All he does is produce runs… Shaw hit another in the eighth, this one being two-run homer off Kirby Yates, to cap the scoring for Boston. Forsythe, who also had a big three RBI day, hit his 12th homer of the season with two outs in the ninth for the final run of the game.
More on Souza
Souza has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left hand.
The Rays outfielder went to the ground, and writhed in pain after being hit, although Souza stayed in the game after receiving attention from the athletic training staff. The pain increased after he left the game in the sixth inning, and he went for X-rays which revealed the fracture. To replace Souza on the roster, the Rays will recall OF Mikie Mahtook, who was most recently with the team Friday, got two hits and was sent down after the contest.
Because there is a DL move involved, Mahtook doesn’t have to spend the usual 10 days in the minors before being recalled.
Moore optioned to Triple-A Durham
The team also announced that Matt Moore (1-3, 8.78 ERA) will be optioned to Triple-A Durham, effective Monday, after struggling through Saturday’s start.
The plan is for the lefty to get his innings in without impacting the Tampa Bay, which is trying to stay in the AL wild-card race.
With several off-days in their schedule, the Rays will use a four-man rotation for the time being. The team, however, is expected to make an addition to the roster after Moore’s option to Durham is official.
Options may include: 1B/DH/C J.P. Arencibia (20 homers, .220 average), 1B/3B prospect Richie Shaffer, INF Nick Franklin, and INF/OF Taylor Motter (Known for defensive versatility and offense, hitting .311 with nine homers and 55 RBI).
The team also may check the waiver wire — Danny Valencia, just let go by Toronto, is an appealing option.
The New What Next
Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 2.76 ERA) will make his 17th start of the season on Sunday, opposite of LHP Wade Miley (8-9, 4.65 ERA). Odorizzi held the Tigers to one run on six hits and a walk in six innings on Tuesday. He has finished at least six innings 12 times in 16 starts this season, compared to 14 times in 31 starts in 2014. Miley has pitched well against the Rays this season, going 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts. You can read about the pitching matchup in our series preview.
Rays 8/2/15 Starting Lineup