Starter David Price labored through five innings, allowing multiple hits in four of those. To his credit, however, he made the pitches when needed most. It’s important when you consider that the Orioles’ lineup is stock full of powerful hitters, including MLB home run leader Chris Davis.
Granted, he received plenty of help from a now-rejuvenated Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce. Both had a hand in three of the Rays’ four runs on Monday night, all of which came on long balls.
Coming off a horrid slump, one that saw him hit under .200 for what felt like months, Longoria is finally returning to form. Since Aug 13, he has 10 hits, four runs and three homers. However, looking at those numbers, one might think he’s just hitting balls out of the ballpark. That isn’t completely accurate. He is actually taking more walks, and when he puts the ball in play, it’s not always an easy out.
Joyce, meanwhile, went almost 200 at-bats between homers. That slump, combined with a lack of playing time, had him frustrated. So what does he do when given two starts in a three-day span? Oh, just two homers, thus helping the Rays win a couple of important divisional games. That’s clutch if you ask me.
This win puts the Rays a half game behind the AL East-leading Boston Red Sox, pending their late outcome Monday night.