The Rays walked away from their 10-inning matchup against the Phillies yesterday, with a 3-1 win thanks to a Stephen Vogt two-run walkoff homer. Vogt, who ended the day 1-2 at the plate, took a high meatball over the plate to deep right, driving in Rich Thompson who was pinch running for Cole Figueroa.
Matt Moore got the start for Tampa Bay* and showed a great amount of improvement over his last three outings, though he was still not right. Moore threw 88 pitches (57 for strikes) in five innings of work, fanning seven while giving up three hits and a run. His velocity is still down, registering in the 91-92 MPH range, a few ticks below his normal velocity.
Rays skipper Joe Maddon didn’t seem too concerned about the drop in velocity. Rather he was pleased with his outing, giving Moore a high-five after his final inning.
“I thought Matt was a lot better (Friday). Much better command of all of his pitches. Velocity’s getting closer to normal. Threw some really good changeups, a couple better breaking balls. Overall, I thought he had a much better idea of where the fastball was going, and that’s what I liked most,” Maddon said. “Overall it was better, but there’s still another level of him as we’ve seen in the past.”
Moore said the reduction in velocity was not a worry.
“I feel strong in every sense of the word,” he said. “So it’s not that big of a concern for us right now.”
The bullpen was absolutely dominant. Jamey Wright, Kyle Farnsworth, Joel Peralta, and Brandon Gomes combined for five innings of one-hit baseball, fanning five and walking none.
Tampa Bay improved to 13-7 on the spring with yesterday’s win. The Rays head to Ft. Myers Saturday to take on the dreadful Boston Red Sox in a 1:05 PM game. Roberto Hernandez will get the start on the bump for the Rays, butting heads with Alfredo Aceves who gets the start for the Sox.
Rays 3/16/13 Starting Lineup:
- Marc Topkin reported that there was some progress for Sam Fuld but it is still unlikely for him to return until the middle or end of next week. Fuld has been out for a couple of weeks with a hamstring injury.
- The Rays expect for Ben Zobrist to return Sunday now that US team is out of WBC. He could play against the Red Sox at home in the 1:35 PM meeting.
- The Rays optioned three players — Tim Beckham, Hak-Ju Lee, and Robinson Chirinos — to Triple-A Durham Friday.
*Ahem, it’s the TAMPA BAY RAYS, not the TAMPA RAYS as another blog may have you believe.