Matt Moore allows 4 runs, Rays drop opener to Phillies
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Rays owner Stuart Sternberg said on Monday that he believes the team will contend in the AL East. For that to happen, Tampa Bay will have to start playing better on the road.
Logan Forsythe doubled and had two RBIs for the Rays, but Tampa Bay lost its 10th game in the last 12 away from home, 5-3 to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Tampa Bay began Monday night in third place in the AL East, 4 1/2 games behind the Yankees.
"We anticipate we’re going to be in the hunt," Sternberg said before Monday’s loss. "We do believe the roster we have in place is good enough to get us where we want to be."
But they didn’t play like it against the Phillies, who still have the worst record in baseball at 33-62 in spite of winning four straight games.
"We didn’t pitch well and we didn’t hit well; we didn’t do much to win the game," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We had some opportunities. It’s kind of becoming a broken record."
Forsythe’s two-run double in the second inning staked Tampa Bay to a 2-0 lead.
But the Phillies tagged Matt Moore for three two-out runs in the bottom of the inning.
Jeff Francoeur started the scoring with a heads-up baserunning play, racing home from third on a wild pitch that didn’t get that far past catcher Curt Casali.
"I was a little surprised he went," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said. "That’s huge. In order to score on a play like that, you have to anticipate something like that."
Cesar Hernandez drove in the other two runs with a double to left.
"A starting pitcher has to do a better job there," Moore said. "We had a 2-0 lead. I wanted to keep them off the board and they got a three-spot."
Moore (1-1) gave up four runs on five hits in 4 2-3 innings in his third start since coming back from Tommy John surgery. Moore struck out three and walked three.
"Matt battled but kind of lost his release point a little bit," Cash said.
David Buchanan (1-5) snapped his winless skid at 15 starts by allowing three runs and six hits in 6 1-3 innings, but the right-hander was promptly optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the game.
"It’s something that hurts to hear, but it’s a part of the game," Buchanan said.
With two off days in the next week, the Phillies don’t need a fifth starter. Mackanin said the club wanted Buchanan to stay in his regular routine.
Hernandez doubled, tripled and drove in two runs, and Maikel Franco had a pair of hits with an RBI for the Phillies, who set a franchise record with 62 losses before the All-Star break.
Buchanan had four strikeouts and three walks in his second start since coming off the DL with a severely sprained ankle. Entering Monday, he was 0-8 with a 4.63 ERA since his last win on Aug. 6, 2014.
Four Phillies relievers combined for 2 2-3 hitless innings, capped by Jonathan Papelbon. The Philadelphia closer earned his 16th save in 16 opportunities with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out two.
It was the first regular-season meeting since 2012 between the clubs that played in the 2008 World Series, with Philadelphia winning in five games.
Francoeur was tagged out in the fifth while trying to bowl over Casali with a shoulder first charge in a home-plate collision not often seen since last year’s rules change.
"There wasn’t a lane and run him over," Francoeur said. "It was a good, clean play. There’s no malicious intent. That’s baseball."
ERROR STREAK SNAPPED
James Loney made a pair of errors in the fifth inning, halting the Rays’ streak of games without two errors at 35. Tampa Bay last had a multi-error game on June 9.
Phillies: Chad Billingsley (right flexor strain) was placed on the 15-day DL after the game. Billingsley left Saturday’s start after five innings. The right-hander, who missed most of the last two seasons after two elbow surgeries, is 2-3 with a 5.84 ERA in seven starts with the Phillies this season. Franco was lifted after the eighth inning due to right elbow soreness. Mackanin said his elbow has been bothering him, and he aggravated the injury with a hard throw from third in the sixth inning.
Rays: LHP Drew Smyly (torn left labrum) will pitch a simulated game on Tuesday in Charlotte. OF Steven Souza Jr. (right finger), who hasn’t played since July 5, is eligible to come off the DL on Tuesday.
Philadelphia RHP Aaron Nola will make his major league debut against Tampa Bay rookie Nathan Karns (4-5, 3.63) in the second of the three-game set on Tuesday night.
Nola, the seventh overall pick of the 2014 draft, was a combined 10-4 with a 2.39 ERA in 18 starts at Double-A and Triple-A this season. Karns has allowed two runs or fewer in 13 starts this season, but is coming off giving up a career-high seven runs in his last start on July 9 at Kansas City.
- Brandon Guyer
- Curt Casali
- Drew Smyly
- FOX Sports Florida
- FOX Sports Sun - Rays
- James Loney
- Logan Forsythe
- Matt Moore
- Nate Karns
- Steven Souza Jr.
- Tampa Bay Rays