The Rays absolutely throttled the Astros Monday night in a 12-0 routing at Minute Maid Park. I know what you’re saying, “But it was against the Astros, the second worst team in baseball.” I’d remind you that the Astros have played .500 ball over the last 40 games or so, while their starting rotation has the second lowest ERA in the American League during that stretch. The Rays’ no questions asked 12-0 win came courtesy of strong pitching and an offensive outburst from the seven-eight-nine trio of hitters, as Tampa Bay plated more two-out runs in one game than they had in the series prior. It’s time for another episode of The Good, The Bad, and The Argyle: A Bulleted Game Summary.
- Knowing he could be the one packing his bags for Triple-A Durham Tuesday, Roberts had a carpe diem moment of sorts. Filling in for an ailing Evan Longoria, Roberts mashed a pair of homers to left-field — a two run missile in the third inning, and a solo blast in the top of the eighth — ultimately plating and scoring three runs.
- Don’t look now, but Jose Lobaton has become a pretty dependable hitter. Lobaton (3-5, 3 R, RBI) has amassed pretty good looking .285 BA/.338 OBP/.424 SLG slash line following another productive night at the plate. Lobaton singled in a run in the fifth, and was driven home in the seventh and eighth innings after reaching base safely on a pair of base hits. He’s become the first Rays catcher with back-to-back three-hit games since Dioner Navarro in 2007.
- Look, I love Sam Fuld as much as anyone else. However, I’m much more of a fan of the 2011 Super Sam model, than I am of the updated 2013 .185 BA version. I’ll admit, I cringed a bit when I saw Fuld’s name listed in the lineup Monday night. I also love when certain assumptions are proven wrong. Fuld put together a 3 H/1 R/2 RBI night, plating runs in the fifth on a single to right, and in the seventh on a single to center.
- Sean Rodriguez put together his first four hit game of his career, reaching base on a pair of doubles and a couple of singles. Rodriguez plated three runs on an RBI base hit in the seventh, and a two RBI double to deep center in the eighth.
- James Loney extended his hitting streak to 12 games, picking up his 500th career RBI on a third inning sacrifice fly to left.
- Tampa Bay scored 11 two-out runs Monday night, accruing almost four times as many as the total number of two-out runs scored in the previous series. Furthermore, Tampa Bay went 8-for-15 wRISP and 8-for-12 wRISP and two outs.
- Matt Moore looked like the Moore of early 2013, putting together a solid 7 IP/2 H/9 K outing on 101 pitches (61 for strikes). Moore impressively did not face more than four batters in any inning, only getting into trouble in the fourth inning after walking Jason Castro. Chris Carter followed the walk by crushing a pitch into center-field, moving Castro to third. Moore cooly struck out J.D. Martinez on a 95 MPH fastball, then got Matt Dominguez to ground into a Ben Zobrist to Yunel Escobar to James Loney double play, to end the inning and the threat.
- Cesar Ramos put together two innings of scoreless relief to close out the game. Ramos allowed no hits and struck out two.
- Nada, nothing!
- Yunel Escobar made an outstanding play ranging to his right and running down a ball in the hole, and firing it to first for the final out of the fifth inning. Upon closer inspection of the replay, Escobar got lucky. Though it should be noted that his effort and reach was impressive.
The New What Next
David Price will make his highly anticipated first start, following a six week stint on the DL. Price noted that he feels better than he’s felt all year, while this start could almost be viewed as his first of the season. Price will be taking on a resurgent Erik Bedard. You can read about the pitching match-up here.
Rays 7/2/13 Starting Lineup