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(Thursday, June 20th)
Final Score: Tampa Bay 8, New York 3
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) - Evan Longoria hit two home runs and finished with three RBI to pace a 14-hit attack that carried the Tampa Bay Rays to an 8-3 victory over the scuffling New York Yankees in the opener of a four-game series between the AL East foes.
Yunel Escobar added a pair of hits, including a two-run homer, while Desmond Jennings went 3-for-4 with two runs scored to help the Rays deal New York its seventh defeat in nine games.
Matt Moore (9-3) got back on track to toss 6 1/3 effective innings in the rout. The Tampa lefty had posted a wretched 13.86 ERA in losing his first three June starts, but held the Yankees' makeshift lineup to three runs and four hits while walking three.
"It is fun to win. Hopefully we can get some momentum going. We had a tough stretch over the eight or 10 games. To get two wins in a row is good," said Longoria.
Moore fared better than Andy Pettitte (5-5), who was reached for five runs and nine hits before exiting with two outs in the seventh inning.
"I have to figure out, when I'm out on the mound, how to make good pitches and get guys out. I'm just not doing that great of a job right now," Pettitte said.
Brett Gardner ended 2-for-3 with a run scored for New York, which managed just six hits after mustering three singles in a 6-0 loss to the Dodgers in Wednesday's second game of a doubleheader.
Tampa Bay gained the early upper hand by manufacturing a run in the top of the second inning, then scored twice in the third to put the Yankees in a 3-0 hole.
Singles by Wil Myers and Escobar put two on with one out in the second, with both runners advancing on Pettitte's wild pitch before Jose Lobaton delivered a sacrifice fly to right.
Consecutive base hits by Jennings, Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist to begin the third extended the lead to 2-0, and Longoria followed with a sac fly to bring in another run.
Pettitte settled down thereafter, not allowing another hit until Longoria led off the sixth by taking a first-pitch fastball over the wall in right that increased the margin to 4-0.
Moore, who was rocked for 20 runs and issued 11 walks over 12 1/3 innings during his rough stretch, was considerably more sharp this time out. After surrendering a single to Gardner to open the bottom of the first, the young southpaw set down 14 of the next 16 Yankee hitters while working on a shutout through five frames.
His control problems crept up again in the sixth, however. Moore walked Gardner and Jayson Nix after Brignac singled as New York loaded the bases with none out. He then uncorked a wild pitch to get the Yanks on the board, with Robinson Cano and Travis Hafner knocking in runs via a sac fly and groundout, respectively, to cut Tampa's advantage to 4-3.
The Rays responded an inning later, though, as Jennings and Rodriguez laced back-to-back doubles to create some distance and end Pettitte's evening.
Longoria achieved his 13th career multi-homer game, including the playoffs, with a 400-plus foot blast off of Joba Chamberlain in the eighth. Two batters later, Escobar connected against Boone Logan with Matt Joyce aboard to push the margin to 8-3.
Rodriguez and Zobrist each finished 2-for-5 with an RBI ... The Yankees' Zoilo Almonte collected his first major league hit with a pinch-hit single in the ninth ... Longoria's sac fly in the third inning gave him 500 career RBI in 710 lifetime games, making him the seventh-fastest to reach the mark among active players ... Pettitte fell to 0-3 with a 7.46 ERA in his last five home starts ... The Yankees had been 5-0 in games following a shutout defeat this season.
06/21 02:34:59 ET