It was the game after Joe Maddon‘s self proclaimed “momentum changer” game. The Rays should have been hotter than a pistol. They were not. It was suppose to be a Matt Moore vs. Yu Darvish pitching duel. It was not.
The first inning did not go well for the Rays as Yunel Escobar committed a rare error, the runner moved to second on a wild pitch and scored on Rios’s single. The Rays came right back in the bottom of the first with a David DeJesus hit, an Evan Longoria walk and a James Loney double plated the first run. The Rays loaded the bases and a walk to Desmond Jennings scored the second run. Unfortunately, the rally came to a screeching halt as the Rays left the bases loaded.
Moore shut down the Rangers quickly in the second inning and with Darvish over 50 pitches and seemingly having nothing, it looked like the Rays might break it open. It never happening as the Rays ran themselves out of the second inning with two caught stealings and let Darvish off the hook.
The wheels came off the bus for Moore in the third as the Rangers launched three monster solo home runs by Mitch Moreland, Elvis Andrus and Alex Rios. Rangers were up 6-2 and the Rays went silently in the bottom of the third.
In the fourth, Craig Gentry walked and stole second. Another walk and a double steal put runners at second and third. Andrus had an infield single that scored two more runs. The Rays put a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the third but failed to get him home.
The rest of the game was absolutely boring. Moore departed after 4 unspectacular innings.The Rays managed one more runner in scoring position but no runs. The Rangers tacked on two more runs including their fourth home run of the game off Wilson Ramos. The highlight for the Rays was Tim Beckham getting his first major league hit.
The bottom line. The Rays lose 8-2. The Rangers get 15 hit, 4 home runs and 5 stolen bases. They nurse Darvish through 5 ugly innings. The Rays get 5 hits, hit into 3 double plays, got caught stealing twice, and left the bases loaded and 5 runners in scoring position. They looked dead in the field and at the plate. Many more games like this and they can forget about October baseball.
Up next for the Rays is a huge series against divisional opponent Baltimore. The team needs us more than ever so grab your Rays tickets now and join the at the Trop.