Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Seattle 1
St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - With All-Star third baseman Evan
Longoria sidelined for the next four-to-eight weeks with a partially torn left
hamstring, Matt Joyce lifted the Rays to a 3-1 victory over the Mariners in
the second test of a four-game series at Tropicana Field on Tuesday.
Longoria left Monday night's 3-2 win over the Mariners after the third inning,
when he slid awkwardly into second base.
Joyce, who took over Longoria's third spot in the batting order, belted a solo
home run and added an RBI triple while starter Matt Moore (1-1) scattered
seven hits and walked one over his five innings of work, but allowed just one
run and struck out seven to earn the victory.
"I feel very comfortable hitting in the middle of the order, or wherever it
may be," Joyce said. "I'm pretty much up for anything. They try to put you in
the best situation possible and obviously they want to win games, so I'm open
Luke Scott knocked in the other run for the Rays while Fernando Rodney fanned
all three hitters he faced in the ninth for his eighth save of the year and
the Rays' seventh straight home victory.
Hector Noesi (1-3) tossed 5 2/3 innings and was charged with all three runs on
three hits and three walks. Jesus Montero had a career-high four hits in the
setback as the Mariners dropped their fourth straight contest.
The Rays struck first in the bottom of the first as Ben Zobrist worked a one-
out walk and Joyce followed with a triple off the base of the wall in dead
center field, plating Zobrist for a 1-0 lead.
Carlos Pena then walked to put runners on the corners before Scott launched a
sacrifice fly to the warning track in left field to extend the margin to 2-0.
The teams traded solo shots in the third as Michael Saunders opened the third
with a leadoff blast into the seats in right before Joyce answered in the
bottom half with his sixth home run of the year to give the Rays a 3-1 edge.
"We're missing that big hit right now," Saunders said. "We are getting runners
on base and putting ourselves in a position to put runs on the board, but
we're missing that big hit."
After Moore left the game in the fifth, Burke Badenhop and Joel Peralta
combined to allow just two hits over the next three innings before Rodney
closed the door in the ninth.
Ichiro Suzuki's 2nd hit of the game tied him with Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith
with 2,460 career hits...The Rays improved to 10-1 at Tropicana Field this
year...Tampa Bay went 0-for-1 with runners in scoring position and left three
on base while Seattle failed on their five attempts with runners in scoring
position and stranded eight.
05/01 23:22:42 ET
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