|Tampa Bay (59-52) «||0||3||1||1||1||0||0||1||x||7||13||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Moore pitched up to the lofty recent standards set by the Tampa Bay pitching staff. And when the Rays added some hits and runs, that made things look easy.
"Our staff and our entire lineup right now, we're playing well," Moore said after winning in the finale of a six-game homestand. "It's a very good time for us in this clubhouse, and there's a lot of looking forward to going on the road right now."
Moore (9-7) gave up one run and two hits, retiring 14 straight batters during one stretch. He won his third straight start, striking out six and walking two.
That kind of pitching has become routine for the Rays, who have allowed more than one run in only six of their last 19 games.
Hitting has been another matter. The Rays took the AL's worst batting average (.230) and lowest scoring output (441 runs) into the game, but Evan Longoria drove in two runs and had three hits.
Jeff Keppinger also had three of Tampa Bay's 13 hits. The Rays got seven runs after scoring only nine in he first five games of the homestand.
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Longoria, who missed 85 games with a partially torn hamstring, came inches short of his first home run since April. His RBI double in the eighth inning was close enough for the umpire crew to review before determining it had bounced off a rail and back into play.
It would have been the Rays' first home run in five games.
"With the addition of guys like Longo, I think everybody else is able to relax a bit and gain some confidence, and once you're able to do that, things start rolling," outfielder Matt Joyce said.
Tampa Bay has won 16 straight series against Toronto at Tropicana Field. The Rays have won six of eight games overall while the Blue Jays have lost 15 of their last 19.
"I truly believe it can become contagious, offensively speaking," manager Joe Maddon said. "It's all based on confidence."
The confidence of the Rays' pitching staff has never been higher. It has reached the point where Moore's first two innings on Thursday were considered something of a struggle.
"The start of the game wasn't the way I wanted to start -- 27 pitches in the top half," he said. "I just didn't quite have the feel for things there in the first inning."
Rajai Davis led off the game with a double and scored the Blue Jays' run on Moore's balk. It was the only run given up by Moore in his last three starts. The rookie left-hander is 8-2 with a 2.92 ERA since the end of May.
"Obviously I'm extremely pleased with where I've come from the beginning of the season," he said. "After not putting together too many quality starts, now I'm getting a little more hungry for the eighth or ninth inning, just to see what those are like."
Alvarez gave up 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings.
|Players of the Game|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Rajai Davis, LF||3||1||1||0||0||1||0||.258|
|Colby Rasmus, CF||4||0||0||0||0||3||2||.248|
|Edwin Encarnacion, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||0||0||.288|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.251|
|David Cooper, DH||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.278|
|Moises Sierra, RF||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.350|
|Jeff Mathis, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.218|
|Omar Vizquel, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.218|
|Adeiny Hechavarria, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.071|
|2B - Rajai Davis (15, Moore), David Cooper (7, Davis)|
|SB - Rajai Davis (31, 3rd base off Moore/Lobaton), Edwin Encarnacion (13, 3rd base off Moore/Lobaton), Moises Sierra (1, 2nd base off Moore/Lobaton)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|Outfield Assists - Moises Sierra 1|
|DP - Vizquel-Escobar-Encarnacion|
|E - Rajai Davis (8, Dropped fly), Edwin Encarnacion (3, Misplayed grounder)|
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|Henderson Alvarez (L,7-9)||4.2||11||6||4||3||2||0||4.58|
|HBP - Joyce (by Casey Janssen)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Henderson Alvarez 83-52, Aaron Loup 19-12, Darren Oliver 11-8, Casey Janssen 30-19|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Henderson Alvarez 8-3, Aaron Loup 3-2, Darren Oliver 1-2, Casey Janssen 1-0|
|Batters Faced - Henderson Alvarez 27, Aaron Loup 5, Darren Oliver 4, Casey Janssen 5|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Sam Fuld, LF||4||0||0||0||1||1||1||.303|
|B.J. Upton, CF||5||1||1||1||0||0||0||.242|
|Matt Joyce, RF||4||1||1||0||0||0||3||.270|
|Evan Longoria, DH||5||0||3||2||0||1||1||.330|
|Sean Rodriguez, PR-DH-2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.208|
|Ben Zobrist, SS-2B||5||2||1||0||0||2||3||.252|
|Carlos Pena, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||0||0||.195|
|Jeff Keppinger, 3B||4||1||3||0||0||0||3||.318|
|Elliot Johnson, PR-SS||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.248|
|Ryan Roberts, 2B-3B||3||1||1||1||1||0||3||.234|
|Jose Lobaton, C||4||0||2||3||0||0||2||.238|
|2B - Evan Longoria (8, Janssen)|
|RBI - B.J. Upton (41), Evan Longoria 2 (22), Ryan Roberts (38), Jose Lobaton 3 (15)|
|2-OUT RBI - Evan Longoria 2 (10)|
|Team LOB - 10|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Matt Moore (W,9-7)||6||2||1||1||2||6||0||3.73|
|HBP - Davis (by J.P. Howell)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Matt Moore 99-59, Kyle Farnsworth 10-6, J.P. Howell 16-9, Wade Davis 22-15|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Moore 5-7, Kyle Farnsworth 2-1, J.P. Howell 1-1, Wade Davis 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Matt Moore 22, Kyle Farnsworth 3, J.P. Howell 4, Wade Davis 4|
|Attendance - 23462|
|Game Time - 2:54|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Adrian Johnson, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Gary Cederstrom, Third Base - Lance Barksdale|