After a great start to the game, the Tampa Bay Rays started to look a little shaky in the middle three frames, but the bullpen managed to hang on to the lead to save Matt Moore’s sixth win of the season.
Moore (6-6, 4.39 ERA) got off to a great start, needing just 31 pitches to get through the first three innings. Seven of those first nine outs were fly balls, and Casey Kotchman was the only Indian to get on base in their first time through the order, reaching after getting hit by a pitch.
Meanwhile, the Rays jumped on Indian’s starter Josh Tomlin (5-6, 5.51 ERA) early. After B.J. Upton singled to lead off the bottom of the first, Carlos Pena hit a two-run homer, his 14th of the season. Ben Zobrist then walked, and scored with two outs when Luke Scott pulled a line drive past the shift and into the right field corner. When the ball got past a sliding Shin-Soo Choo, it became an easy triple.
Tomlin held the Rays scoreless for the next two innings, though, getting out of a two on, one out jam in the second by getting Pena to hit into an inning-ending double play in the second and then getting Desmond Jennings to ground out with runners on the corners and two outs in the third.
Moore started to look shaky in the fourth inning. After All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera led off the inning with a single, Moore would walk Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley to load the bases with no outs. However, Moore was able to escape the inning without much damage, getting Jose Lopez to hit a sac fly, then striking out Carlos Santana and getting Shelley Duncan to fly out.
After Tomlin retired the Rays in order in the bottom of the fourth, Moore got into more trouble in the fifth inning, giving up two hits and two walks. However, Moore was again able to escape the jam after having only allowed one run, getting Lopez to fly out with the bases loaded and two outs, preserving the Rays’ 3-2 lead.
After Moore walked Santana to lead off the sixth inning, Joe Maddon brought in Wade Davis from the bullpen. Davis promptly got Moore out of the jam, getting Duncan to hit into a double play and then Kotchman to fly out.
The Rays would add an insurance run with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning when Jose Lobaton singled home Jennings, giving the Rays a 4-2 lead and knocking Tomlin out of the game.
The Rays bullpen would then retire six straight Indians in the seventh and eighth innings, with Davis getting one more out, Joel Peralta getting four outs, and then Burke Badenhop getting the final out of the eighth inning.
The Rays brought in Rodney with a 4-2 lead in the ninth. After hitting Santana, the Rays turned a double play when Duncan hit a soft liner right back to Rodney and Santana went too far off of first. After Kotchman singled, Rodney then got Travis Hafner to fly out to end the game.
About the Author
Written by Will Creager
I'm currently a senior at Eckerd College in Sain Petersburg, FL, studying math and computer science. Sports are my passion, especially baseball.