Rays Stop The Bleeding, Beat Texas 2-0
It was only 39 degrees when the game started after a rain delay of 1 hour, 29 minutes. That was 40 degrees colder than Tuesday night.
Evan Longoria had a sacrifice fly for the Rays, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Their other run came on a grounder after Derek Holland (0-1) walked the bases loaded, his only three walks in his eight innings.
Moore (2-0) limited Texas to a single and struck out five, but had six walks and threw 106 pitches – 52 of them balls with two wild pitches – to get into the sixth. He benefited from two double-play grounders, one soon after he came out of the game.
Cesar Ramos, Jake McGee, Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney finished out Tampa Bay’s third shutout of the season. Rodney got his first save.
The only other time Moore pitched in Texas was the 2011 AL division series opener, when he threw seven scoreless innings for the Rays. He threw six shutout frames against Cleveland last week in his first start this season.
Holland (0-1) allowed two runs and five hits with four strikeouts and the three walks.
Texas, which had won six of seven since its season-opening loss at Houston, appeared to have a run in the sixth. Mitch Moreland, the third batter after Moore left the game, beat out an inning-ending double-play grounder.
Moreland had already been signaled safe and Nelson Cruz had crossed home plate when interference was called against Jeff Baker. The base runner appeared to slide away from second into the path of shortstop Yunel Escobar, who was making the relay throw.
Baker argued briefly with second-base umpire Marty Foster, and was soon joined by Rangers manager Ron Washington. Foster motioned that Baker went out of his normal path, which television replays appeared to support.
That inning-ending play was much different than the game-ending strike of the series opener Texas won 5-4, which ended when Foster was behind home plate and called strike three on a curveball low and outside – a call he later admitted he got wrong.
In the eighth, Adrian Beltre was thrown out at home trying to score on pinch-hitter Leonys Martin’s fly ball. Right fielder Ben Zobrist made a solid throw to catcher Jose Lobaton, who had the plate blocked and tagged out Beltre.
All three of Holland’s walks came in the third. The first was to No. 9 hitter Kelly Johnson, who eventually scored on a fielder’s choice grounder by Zobrist, the batter who thought he had drawn a walk Monday night to put two runners on base for Longoria before Foster’s game-ending call.
Desmond Jennings led off the fifth with his third double in two games and scored on Longoria’s deep fly ball to right.
Notes: The only colder start at Rangers Ballpark, which is in its 20th season, was a night game against Boston on April 7, 2007, when it was 38 degrees. Texas is more known for the summer heat. Just two seasons ago, the temperature was at least 100 degrees for 27 games at the park. … Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux had to go to the dentist when a crown came loose. That’s why bullpen coach Andy Hawkins visited Holland on the mound in the third. Maddux was back in the dugout soon after that. … Tampa Bay on Thursday has its only day off in a 27-day span to start the season then starts a four-game series in Boston on Friday.
Source: Associated Press