I wrote yesterday, “If anyone on the staff is capable of pulling the Rays out of this funk, it is Moore.” Holy moly, those words held true, in spades, Saturday night!
A sputtering Rays offense snapped back to life, scoring a season high 10-runs on 19 hits, while Matt Moore absolutely dominated the White Sox, posting a 6 IP/3 H/1 R/1 ER/1 BB/9 K/1 HR slash line on 101 pitches (61 for strikes).
- Matt Moore…what else can I say about the young lefty that hasn’t already been said? After walking the first batter of the game, Moore struck out the next six hitters in a row and carried a no-no into the fourth. Moore also retired 11 batters in a row at one point. He got ahead of the hitters and effectively located his pitches, throwing his fastball and a deadly curve for strikes. Moore became the third American League pitcher under age 24 to go 5-0 in April, along with Greg Swindell (1988) and Babe Ruth (1917).
- A season high 10 runs, on a season high 19 hits! Everyone in the Rays lineup contributed in some way. Every batter reached base safely at least one time, while all but Shelley Duncan, Jose Molina (pulled from the game early), and Sam Fuld crossed the plate. Furthermore, everyone but Matt Joyce, Duncan, Molina, and Fuld drove in runs.
- After hitting only five homers as a team going into Boston a few weeks back, the Rays have become a home run mashing team, hitting at least a homer in each of the last twelve games. Ben Zobrist and Desmond Jennings were the lucky recipients of distinction Saturday, cranking a pair of homers accounting for three of the Rays 10 runs. Zobrist hit his second homer of the year, a two run blast off Gavin Floyd in the first inning, while Jennings went yard for the third time this season, hitting a solo opposite-field shot in the third.
- Kelly Johnson had a huge night at the plate, going 4-for-5 with a run and a pair of RBI’s. He also hit the Rays second triple of the year up the right-field line off Hector Santiago in the seventh.
- The 3-4-5 hitters in the lineup — Zobrist, Longoria, and Loney — went a combined 9-for-16 with five runs, five RBI’s, a walk, three doubles, and a home-run Saturday night.
- Tampa Bay went 7-for-18 wRISP, converting nearly 40% of runners into runs.
- Per Topkin, The big night allowed the Rays to show off their new team gesture, players who get a big hit doing a modified version of the arrow shot by closer Fernando Rodney at the end of games.
- Rays catcher Jose Molina was removed from the game early after being hit in the knee by a pitch in the fourth inning. He was later diagnosed with a right hamstring contusion and is day-to-day.
The New What Next
David Price (0-2, 5.40 ERA) will take another stab at the coveted first win of the year Sunday against Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 3.80 ERA) and the White Sox. You can read more on the match-up here.
Rays 4/28/13 Starting Lineup