by Steve Carney
Rays hitters beat up John Lackey for five runs, and Matt Moore became the first Rays pitcher to start a season 7-0 as Tampa Bay defeated the Boston Red Sox 5-3 Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
Moore stumbled out of the gates, giving up a three-run homer to David Ortiz in the top of the first inning, but recovered to toss six innings of work, allowing just three hits. He walked two, struck out eight, and hit a batter.
Watch David Ortiz's 3-run homer in the first off Matt Moore
Moore immediately righted the ship, though, retiring the next 12 Boston hitters in order, and allowed just one more hit over the next five innings.
Tampa Bay scored all their runs in the fourth inning off starter John Lackey (1-4). Evan Longoria led off the inning with a single, and moved to third on a single by James Loney. Luke Scott then delivered Longoria on a check-swing double down the left-field line, and after Kelly QJohnson struck out, Jose Molina's single-- one of his three hits on the evening-- brought in both Loney and Scott to tie the game.
Yunel Escobar's single moved Molina to second base, and after Desmond Jennings' fly out moved both runners up a base, Matt Joyce's infield popup landed safely on the turf and stayed fair, allowing both runners to come home and break the tie.
Watch Matt Joyce's infield popup break a 3-3 tie in the fourth inning!
Jake McGee allowed a pair of walks in the seventh inning, but Josh Lueke got Shane Victorino to line out to Loney at first base to end the last rally Boston would have.
Joel Peralta, who showed off his dance moves in the clubhouse before the game, had a perfect 8th inning of relief, and Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth in order to earn his seventh save.
The Rays have now won six straight game, currently the longest active winning streak in baseball, while the Red Sox have dropped 9 of their last 11.
Tampa Bay will look to extend their winning streak Wednesday, when David Price (1-3, 4.78 ERA) takes on Jon Lester (5-0, 2.73 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with pregame coverage starting on 620 WDAE / 95.3 FM at 6:00 with the Suncoast Hyundai Dealers Inside Pitch.