|Tampa Bay (16-8) «||2||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||x||3||3||0|
A first-time All-Star a year ago when he led the major leagues in hitting as late as early June, Joyce delivered a solo home run and RBI triple to pace a 3-1 victory against the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.
Joyce had two of Tampa Bay's three hits while batting in Longoria's customary No. 3 hole for the first time this season. Earlier in the day, Longoria was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn left hamstring.
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"Longo has some big shoes to fill," Joyce said. "I think the guys realize that we have to pick it up. ... Injuries are part of the game. Guys go through slumps and you have to pick each other up. That's what a good team does"
Rookie Matt Moore (1-1) scattered seven hits over five innings to get the victory, which is the ninth in 10 games for the AL East-leading Rays.
Michael Saunders had a solo homer and Jesus Montero went 4 for 4 for Seattle, however the Mariners went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position to lose for the fourth straight time following a season-best four-game winning streak.
Joyce tripled off Mariners starter Hector Noesi (1-3), then scored on Luke Scott's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead in the first. Joyce's team-leading sixth home run of the season made it 3-1 in the third.
"I feel very comfortable hitting in the middle of the order," said the left-handed hitting Joyce, who figures to get more opportunities to bat third against right-handed pitching. He's batting .346 (18 for 52) over his last 16 games and has 10 extra-base hits in his past 11 games.
"The bullpen was spectacular," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays learned before the game that Longoria, a three-time All-Star batting .329 with four home runs and 19 RBI, will be out four to eight weeks after being hurt attempting to steal second base on Monday.
A bit of good news for Tampa Bay was Moore finally got his first victory of the season. The hard-throwing 22-year-old left-hander, who started and won the team's postseason opener against Texas last October, walked one and struck out seven in the shortest of his five starts this year.
Saunders connected off Moore in the third. Seattle threatened in the fourth and fifth against the Rays starter, and again in the eighth when Montero doubled off Joel Peralta, but the Mariners failed to get a runner past second in each situation.
Noesi allowed three runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander, acquired along with Montero in an offseason trade that sent pitcher Michael Pineda to the New York Yankees, walked three and struck out one.
The Mariners outhit the Rays 9-3. They had 11 hits in a 3-2, 12-inning loss in the series opener on Monday.
"To be a consistent offensive club, we have to finish innings off," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We're just not doing that."
|Matt Joyce, celebrating his solo home run here, collects two of the Rays' three hits in the win. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Dustin Ackley, DH||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.238|
|Alex Liddi, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.286|
|Ichiro Suzuki, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||1||.302|
|Justin Smoak, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.190|
|Jesus Montero, C||4||0||4||0||0||0||0||.294|
|Kyle Seager, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||0||3||.276|
|Casper Wells, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||.240|
|a- Munenori Kawasaki, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.200|
|Michael Saunders, CF||4||1||1||1||0||2||3||.253|
|Brendan Ryan, SS||2||0||0||0||1||1||0||.131|
|b- Mike Carp, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Wells in the 9th|
|b-struck out for Ryan in the 9th|
|2B - Ichiro Suzuki (5, Moore), Jesus Montero (2, Peralta)|
|HR - Michael Saunders (4, Moore)|
|RBI - Michael Saunders (12)|
|Team LOB - 8|
|DP - Ryan-Seager-Smoak|
|PB - Jesus Montero (2)|
|Hector Noesi (L,1-3)||5.2||3||3||3||3||1||1||7.83|
|Pitches-Strikes - Hector Noesi 85-46, Lucas Luetge 5-1, Steve Delabar 16-12, Charlie Furbush 11-6|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Noesi 9-6, Steve Delabar 1-2|
|Batters Faced - Hector Noesi 22, Lucas Luetge 1, Steve Delabar 5, Charlie Furbush 2|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Desmond Jennings, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.266|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B||3||1||0||0||1||0||1||.198|
|Matt Joyce, RF||4||2||2||2||0||1||0||.306|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||1||0||0||0||2||0||0||.282|
|Luke Scott, DH||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||.262|
|B.J. Upton, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||3||.353|
|Elliot Johnson, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.160|
|Chris Gimenez, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Sean Rodriguez, SS||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.182|
|3B - Matt Joyce (3, Noesi)|
|HR - Matt Joyce (6, Noesi)|
|SF - Luke Scott (1)|
|RBI - Matt Joyce 2 (11), Luke Scott (18)|
|2-OUT RBI - Matt Joyce (3)|
|Team LOB - 3|
|DP - S. Rodriguez-Zobrist-Pena|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Moore (W,1-1)||5||7||1||1||1||7||1||4.20|
|Burke Badenhop (H,1)||2||1||0||0||0||1||0||6.00|
|Joel Peralta (H,6)||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||6.52|
|Fernando Rodney (S,8)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||0.79|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 101-66, Burke Badenhop 24-13, Joel Peralta 14-11, Fernando Rodney 14-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 1-6, Burke Badenhop 3-2, Joel Peralta 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Matt Moore 22, Burke Badenhop 7, Joel Peralta 4, Fernando Rodney 3|
|Attendance - 9972|
|Game Time - 2:37|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Al Porter|