James Loney’s three RBI’s lead a rare 2013 offensive explosion for the Tampa Bay Rays as the Rays end their four game losing streak beating the Baltimore Orioles 6-2. The Rays offense finishing with 11 hits in the game, only the second time this season that the Rays have finished a game with hits in double digits.
Loney, who came into the game with only one hit in his last 19 plate appearances, finished the game three for three with a pair of doubles and three RBI. Easily Loney has his best offensive game as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays Wednesday night against their American League East rival.
The Rays got off to another hot start in ‘Charm City’ as Kelly Johnson, for the second consecutive night, hit a solo home run. Johnson’s blast in the top of the first inning gave the Rays an early 1-0 lead. The Rays added to their lead in the top half of the second with the long ball again as Shelley Duncan went yard for the second time this season making it a 2-0 game.
Matt Moore was masterful in his third start of the season. The 23 year old southpaws control and pitch selection once again held the opponent in check, as Moore earns his third win of the season. Moore’s only mistake was in the Orioles half of the third inning as Adam Jones took the first pitch he saw and blasted a two run home run tying the game at two. The play was originally ruled a double, but replays showed that the ball hit a post behind the wall in left center field allowing Jones to round the second half of the base paths.
The Rays took a hold of the game from then on out as they scored four unanswered runs, three of those runs scoring off the bat of James Loney. The Rays first baseman got things going in the fourth inning with a two RBI double to center field scoring Evan Longoria and Shelley Duncan to make it 4-2. Yunel Escobar added to the Rays lead with an RBI single in the sixth giving the Rays a 5-2 lead. Loney added the cherry on top in the eighth inning with another RBI base hit making it 6-2 Tampa Bay.
Rays Manager Joe Maddon was ejected by second base umpire Brian Knight in the top of the fifth inning as Kelly Johnson was called out on a caught stealing. Following Maddon’s 28th career ejection, replays did show that the call was indeed correct.
Matt Moore stays perfect with his third win in as many starts pitching 6 2/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts. Chris Tillman earns his first loss of the season for the Orioles. Fernando Rodney closed the door with a scoreless ninth inning in a non-save situation. For Rodney, it was his first appearance in a game since April 10th.
The Rays will attempt to take the rubber match tomorrow night sending David Price against Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. The 2013 American League Cy Young Award winner is still winless through three starts this season. Catch the action on 620am WDAE beginning at 6:30pm, with a 7:05pm first pitch.