Evan Longoria, Logan Forsythe homer but Rays drop series to Orioles
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Matt Moore struggled on the mound again, and the Tampa Bay Rays’ offense couldn’t get much going.
Nolan Reimold had a two-run double among three hits Sunday as the Baltimore Orioles beat Moore and the Rays 5-2 for their second straight win after a four-game skid.
In his fifth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, Moore (1-2) became only the second pitcher in Rays history to begin a season with five straight starts of five innings or fewer. Moore gave up five runs and eight hits while striking out four.
"I feel fine … I feel good out there," Moore said. "It’s just a matter of making a couple pitches in situations where you have runners on."
The loss was the 21st in 30 games for the Rays. They’ve dropped eight of their last nine series.
"Tough one," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We had some opportunities, got the guys on base a couple times. Weren’t able to get some more runs in."
Tampa Bay has scored only 87 runs in the past 30 games and has scored the fewest runs (351) through 100 games of any team in the franchise’s 18 seasons.
"All we needed to do is get back to playing crisp, fundamental baseball, limiting the mistakes that we make," Tampa Bay right fielder Steven Souza Jr. said. "The reason we were so good the first two months is, we didn’t give teams extra outs. We scored when we needed to. There’s no one thing you can blame right now, we just needed to play good baseball."
Evan Longoria and Logan Forsythe homered for the Rays on consecutive pitches in the fourth.
The Rays failed to score again, even after loading the bases with one out in the fifth and putting seven men on base in the final three innings.
The fifth ended when Souza struck out and Longoria, 4 for 30 with runners in scoring position and two outs this season, grounded out.
Longoria’s home run was his 10th of the season and his first since July 7. Forsythe hit his career-high 11th homer and also ended a bases-loaded Orioles threat with a diving catch in the third.
Wei-Yin Chen (5-6) won for the first time in four starts against Tampa Bay, giving up two runs and six hits while striking out three in 5 1-3 innings.
Caleb Joseph hit a two-run homer for the Baltimore.
Four relievers finished for the Orioles. Zach Britton earned his 25th save.
"It’s a test of your will sometimes when you’ve got a lot of people telling you that the sky’s falling and it’s really not," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said after his team improved to 7-13 in July.
Orioles: C Matt Wieters was out of the lineup due to minor back stiffness. Wieters should return for Monday night’s game against Atlanta
Rays: SS Asdrubal Cabrera (right hamstring) expects to return in the next few days. He is scheduled for a minor league game Monday for Class A Charlotte. … OF Desmond Jennings (left knee) might be cleared for a minor league rehab assignment this week.
FLORIDA STATE BATTERY
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, the first overall pick in the NFL Draft, caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown by Jimbo Fisher, his coach at Florida State. "Of course I miss baseball, but we’ve got training camp around the corner," said Winston, who pitched and played outfield at FSU.
Orioles: Showalter expects OF Nick Markakis will get a great reaction from fans Monday when the former Orioles star returns to Camden Yards for the first time since signing a free agent contract with the Braves.
Rays: RHP Nathan Karns (5-5) will face Tigers RHP Anibal Sanchez (10-7), who is 7-0 in his last eight starts, in the opener of a three-game series Monday night.