BY: John Mamola
Evan Longoria’s two home run night lead the Tampa Bay Rays to a 8-3 win in the first game of four against the New York Yankees. Longoria’s twelfth career multi homer game and three RBI sent the Rays All Star third baseman over the 500 career RBI plateau in his sixth year in a Rays uniform.
Matt Moore made his third career start at Yankee Stadium a memorable one for the 2013 season. Moore came into the game on a major slide with a 0-3 record in his last four starts and an ERA well over thirteen after beginning the season getting the win in eight of his first nine starts.
Moore was helped out by getting some early run support by the Rays offense as Tampa Bay jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Wil Myers began his career playing in the Bronx with a sharp single to center field to lead off the Rays second inning. Followed by a Yunel Escobar single and advancing on a wild pitch by Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, Myers scored on a sacrifice fly by Jose Lobaton to give the Rays the early lead.
The Rays added two more runs in the third inning on a Ben Zobrist RBI single scoring Desmond Jennings to make it 2-0 Rays. Evan Longoria’s 500th career RBI was recorded as the very next batter on a sacrifice fly scoring Sean Rodriguez to make it 3-0 Tampa Bay. Longoria continued to pile the lead on Andy Pettitte leading off the Rays sixth inning with his fifteenth home run to make it 4-0 Rays.
The Bronx Bombers finally made some headway on Moore in their half the sixth inning scoring three runs off the Rays southpaw. Moore loaded the bases with no outs and Robinson Cano at the dish when a wild pitch by Moore scored the first run of the night for the pinstripes. Cano followed with a sacrifice fly scoring Brett Gardner to cut the Rays lead in half at 4-2. Travis Hafner then drove in a run grounding out deep into the shift at second base making it a 4-3 Rays lead.
The one run deficit was as close as New York would get for the remainder of the evening as the Rays score four more runs to close out the contest. Sean Rodriguez drove in Jennings with an RBI double to give the Rays a 5-3 lead, and a pair of home runs in the Rays eighth inning put the game out of reach. Evan Longoria’s second blast of the game making it 6-3, and a two run bomb by Yunel Escobar gave Tampa Bay an 8-3 lead.
Matt Moore earns his first win in a month and moves to 9-3 on the season. Moore pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing all three Yankees runs on four hits. Andy Pettitte moves to 5-5 on the season as he is handed the loss. The Rays offense totaled fourteen or more hits for the second straight game for the first time since September 21-22 of last season (vs Baltimore).
The Rays continue their four game trek in New York tomorrow night as they will send Roberto Hernandez against David Phelps for the Yankees. You can catch all the action on 620am/95.3fm WDAE beginning at 6:30pm with the pre-game, and a 7:10pm first pitch.