BY: John Mamola
A historic day for Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore as he improves his record to 8-0 on the season with a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles. The Rays grab a sweep of the O’s for the first time this season as Moore becomes the first left handed pitcher 23 years old and younger to start a season 8-0 since Babe Ruth in 1917.
The Rays offense seemed to take the day off following 22 runs scored on 28 hits combined the first two games of the series. The Rays bats only mustered three runs against Orioles starting pitcher Chris Tillman through six innings of work.
Desmond Jennings got things going for the Rays in their half of the third inning. With Yunel Escobar on first and two outs, Jennings nailed a 3-2 fastball down the left field line scoring Escobar to make it 1-0 Rays. For Jennings, it was his fifth RBI in his last five games.
Reflecting the past two evenings, it didn’t take long for the Orioles offense to react. Following a lead off triple by Manny Machado in the fourth inning, Adam Jones got the O’s on the board with a single to left center tying the game at one a piece. Jones’ single marked the only blemish on Matt Moore’s pitching line, as Moore pitched a strong seven innings allowing that single run on five hits.
The Rays took the lead back in the top of the fifth as former Orioles’ DH Luke Scott blasted a solo home run to right center field. Scott’s third home run of the season put the Rays in front 2-1. Matt Joyce continued his hot hitting with a solo home run off the foul pole in right field in the sixth inning giving the Rays a 3-1 lead. Joyce’s blast was reviewed as the ball hit the portion of the foul pole that was not painted yellow which lies between the bottom of the painted pole and the top of the wall. Originally Joyce’s home run was ruled a double, but was over turned by video review.
Matt Moore now leads Major League Baseball with his eighth win of the season, as Fernando Rodney reaps in his eighth save of the year. The Rays sweep the Orioles at Camden Yards for the first time since May 6th-8th of 2011, and have won nine of their last eleven games.
The Rays will head to Toronto a three game series beginning Monday afternoon as the country of Canada celebrates Victoria Day. The Rays will send Jake Odorizzi who will make his MLB debut against reigning National League Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Catch all the action on 620am / 95.3 FM WDAE beginning at 12:30pm, with a 1:07pm first pitch.