After a game in which the Rays bats broke out for 10 runs on 13 hits, they reverted back to their woeful hitting ways in a 7-3 loss to the Tribe. Compounding the lack of hitting, Matt Moore struggled, lasting just 4.2 innings and allowing 5 ER on 5 hits, along with 5 walks. For Moore, the loss is his first since May 28th (2-1 vs Chicago), and the first time allowing 5 ER or more since May 6th (8 ER allowed in a 9-5 loss to Oakland), and the first time lasting less than 5 innings since May 22nd vs Toronto, a game won by the Rays, 8-5. Moore is now 5-6 on the season, but it’s hard to be disappointed with his overall body of work after a rough April and beginning of May. JP Howell and Burke Badenhop combined for 2.1 scoreless innings in relief, before Wade Davis allowed a 2 run HR to Shelley Duncan in the 8th, which busted the game wide open for the Tribe.
Ubaldo Jiminez, who worked himself in and out of trouble in the 1st, was staked to a 5-0 lead after 3 innings and would mostly cruise through 6 innings, striking out 8 and allowing only 1 walk. After that, the Indians turned it over to their bullpen, which has been strength for them all season, with Tony Sipp and Vinnie Pestano each working a scoreless inning each in relief. Esmil Rogers worked the 9th, as it became a non-save situation, and B.J. Upton hit a solo homerun off of him, providing the final 7-3 margin. With the win, Jiminez is now 8-7 on the season.
If we’re looking for positives for the Rays in this game, look no further than Luke Scott who, one day after breaking his 0-41 drought at the plate with a homerun, hit another one tonight, along with a bloop single. The loss drops the Rays to 44-41, while the win puts the Indians at 44-40, ½ game ahead of the Rays in the chase for 2 AL Wildcard spots. The Rays trail the Orioles by 2 games and the Angels by 2.5 for the aforementioned wildcards, with those two teams meeting later tonight. The Rays and Indians will meet tomorrow in their final game before the All-Star break, with James Shields (8-5, 4.11 ERA) facing off against Zach Mccalister (3-1, 3.93 ERA).
Notes: The Rays are now a ghastly 5-14 vs. the AL Central, and have only won one series (2 of 3 vs Minnesota on April 20-22nd at Tropicana Field). This game was not televised locally, or nationally, on any mediums.