Game 107: Roberto Hernandez Throws A Gem To Keep Rays In First Place

By Dereck Violante

Coming into this game 8-2 in their last 10 the Rays continue their hot streak and beat the Diamondbacks 5-2 to remain in first place in the AL East on the heels of a Roberto Hernandez gem.

As discussed earlier today on Rays Colored Glasses by Robbie, this could possibly be the last start by Roberto Hernandez in a Rays uniform.  Hernandez did not disappoint by throwing an absolute gem of a game going for the complete game, giving up 2 runs on 5 hits with 6 strikeouts and 1 walk, his only mistake came with 2 outs in the top of the 9th with 2 outs, giving up a 2 run home run to Eric Chavez.

Everything was working for Tampa Bay in this game as the offense began early with a leadoff double by Desmond Jennings.  A ball that would have typically been a single by most players was stretched into a double by aggressive base running on Jennings part with some hustle.  Ben Zobrist then knocked Jennings in to give Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead.  After Evan Longoria managed to reach first on a fielders choice, James Loney then crushed a double off the wall in right center to score Longoria and give Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.

In an odd turn of events the game was delayed by a rain storm in the area for about 20 minutes.  Even in a dome the rain can affect the game as the power went out in part of the stadium for a short time before play resumed.  Who says rain can’t affect baseball indoors?

The Rays extended their lead to 3-0 with a solo blast by Yunel Escobar in the bottom of the 4th as well as adding another run on a sac fly in the bottom of the 6th.  Escobar had a tremendous game going 2 for 2 with 2 RBI and a walk. Ben Zobrist was also a huge factor in the game, going 3-4 with 2 RBI and a walk.  Overall the offense was on point with the Rays as they scored 5 runs on 10 hits

Up next for first place Tampa Bay is game 2 of the two game series with the Diamondbacks as the Rays send Jeremy Hellickson (10-3, 4.48 ERA) to the hill to face off against Wade Miley (7-8, 3.86 ERA) at 7:10pm in Tampa Bay.