May 27, 2018
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Rays’ Moore stifles Sox after Ortiz’s home run

By The Sports Xchange, Special to the BDN

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Matt Moore made his one mistake early and was dominant thereafter as Tampa Bay opened a three-game series with a 5-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night at Tropicana Field that stretched the Rays’ win streak to six games.

Moore allowed just three base runners after David Ortiz’s three-run homer in the first inning and improved to 7-0. He gave up three earned runs, three hits and two walks in six innings while striking out eight.

Fernando Rodney picked up his seventh save. Rays catcher Jose Molina went 3-for-3 and knocked in two runs.

The Rays (20-18) began hitting the ball hard off Red Sox starter John Lackey in the third inning but used two fluke hits to break through with a five-run fourth.

Evan Longoria and James Loney began the decisive inning with singles before Luke Scott dunked a check-swing double to left to cut the Rays’ deficit to 3-1. Jose Molina then tied the score with a two-run single to center.

After a Yunel Escobar single put two runners back aboard, Lackey appeared set to squirm out of the inning, retiring Desmond Jennings on a flyout and inducing a two-out infield pop from Matt Joyce. But first baseman Mike Napoli struggled mightily finding the ball in the beige roof and the ball plopped down just in fair territory behind him for a two-run infield single. The Rays led 5-3.

Lackey (1-4) survived the inning but didn’t last the fifth, allowing five earned runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one.

Ortiz had walloped a chest-high fastball deep into the right-field bleachers in the first, scoring Jacoby Ellsbury, who was hit with a pitch leading off, and Dustin Pedroia, who had lined a ball off third base for a double. The home run was Ortiz’s fifth of the season.

Boston fell to 22-17 after losing its third straight.

NOTES: Lackey made his 300th big-league appearance. … Longoria was named American League Player of the Week on Monday for the period May 6-12. He has received the honor a club-record six times. He hit .464 with a .531 on-base percentage and .964 slugging percentage during the span, all of which came at Tropicana Field, with three homers, 11 RBI, five doubles and eight runs. … Loney entered the game leading the majors in batting (.376). … Red Sox RF Shane Victorino returned to the lineup after being removed from Sunday’s game with an apparent back injury. Victorino was taken to a Boston hospital after slamming into the outfield wall chasing a fly ball. … Molina was 0 for 13 on the current homestand before singling in his first two at-bats. … Lackey had not allowed more than three earned runs in his previous five starts this season.

Yankees 4, Mariners 3: Robinson Cano hit a game-tying double with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning and Lyle Overbay had a go-ahead sacrifice fly as the New York Yankees rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

The Yankees won for the 24th time in their last 34 games and improved to 16-5 in games decided by two runs or fewer.

Their comeback began when Chris Nelson singled and advanced on a wild pitch by Yoervis Medina. Left-hander Charlie Furbush (0-2) issued three walks around a double to Cano that nearly cleared the right-center field wall.

After Cano did not miss a third straight slider, the Mariners issued an intentional walk to Vernon Wells to get to Curtis Granderson. The strategy backfired as Furbush walked Granderson and loaded the bases for Overbay.

Overbay, who drove in New York’s first run with a double in the sixth, gave the Yankees their only lead when he lifted a full-count fastball to center field, scoring Cano.

The Yankees did little against Seattle starter Felix Hernandez, who was in line for his eighth win in 10 decisions against New York after allowing one run and five hits in six innings. However, two circumstances worked in the Yanks’ favor.

One was that they saw 97 pitches from him. Hernandez had not thrown more than 113 in any start this season and had thrown fewer than 100 in his previous three starts when he pitched 24 innings against the Angels, Blue Jays and Pirates.

Another was an apparent injury that Hernandez seemed to struggle with after his right foot collided with Overbay in the fourth. That injury seemed to re-surface when Hernandez was seen mouthing “ouch, ouch” on television replays following a ground ball by Granderson.

While Hernandez was not at his most dominant, neither was CC Sabathia. Opposing Hernandez for the first time, Sabathia allowed three runs (two earned) and a two-run home run to Raul Ibanez among 10 hits while striking out 10 in 6 1/3 innings.

Shawn Kelley (2-0) recorded the final two outs of the seventh with runners at first and third for the win. David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera worked a hitless ninth for his 16th save in as many chances.

Hernandez reached three-ball counts on three of the first four hitters he faced but worked out of a jam with runners on first and second by getting Granderson on an inning-ending double play.

Sabathia gave up two hits in the second but worked out of it by getting a called strike three on a close pitch to Robert Andino.

Seattle took a 1-0 lead when Michael Saunders reached on a fielding error by first baseman Overbay and scored on Kyle Seager’s double to right-center field.

Hernandez struck out the side in the third but, because of his wild pitch and catcher Kelly Shoppach’s throwing error, Nelson reached second. After Nelson advanced to third, Hernandez struck out Brett Gardner and Cano.

The Mariners loaded the bases on two-out singles by Andino and Brendan Ryan but Sabathia struck out Saunders by getting him to chase a fastball.

In the fourth, Hernandez worked out of trouble created by his own doing when he was called for an error for obstructing Overbay while covering first base. His right foot collided with Overbay, who was initially called out by first-base umpire Alan Porter. After a review, the call was changed and manager Eric Wedge argued with second-base umpire Greg Gibson to no avail.

Hernandez’s miscue, however, caused no damage as he stranded runners at first and second with strikeouts of Jayson Nix and Ichiro.

Sabathia struck out Jason Bay and Seager but gave up a double to Kendry Morales. Sabathia stranded Morales by getting Michael Morse on a fly ball to right field.

Nelson led off the fifth with a single up the middle but Hernandez got Austin Romine on a double play and retired Gardner.


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