Game 58: Matt Joyce Leads Rays To Victory

By David Hill

On a night where the Rays pitching staff was in trouble practically every inning, the Rays managed to escape with a 5-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins put runners on in each of the first eight innings, yet only managed to push one run across on starter Jeremy Hellickson, stranding 13 runners and going 0-8 with runners in scoring position. Hellickson was hardly effective, giving up 5 hits and a career high 7 walks, as he threw 108 pitches in just 4.1 innings of work. The Marlins only run came on a sacrifice fly by Greg Dobbs with the bases loaded and no one out.

Matt Joyce, meanwhile, provided all the offensive support the Rays would need, going 2-3 with 3 runs scored, 2 walks, 1 double, and 1 home run. Backup catcher Jose Lobaton chipped in with 2 doubles and a run scored. As a team, the Rays pounded out 10 hits and drew 5 walks against Marlins pitching, chasing starter Ricky Nolasco after 6 innings of work. Nolasco gave up 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 6 Rays batters.

With the victory, the Rays once again find themselves alone in first place, half a game up on the New York Yankees.

Game notes: Lobaton was charged with catcher’s interference for the fourth time this year, allowing Justin Ruggiano to reach in the top of the seventh. despite only allowing 13 runs in the past 7 games, Hellickson has only 1 victory. Sandy Rosario made his 2012 debut for the Marlins, pitching 1.2 innings and striking out Desmond Jennings.