The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

March 25, 2013

Home runs lift Rays over Pirates

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Even for an established star like Evan Longoria, the first home run of the year is always a relief.

Longoria and Ben Zobrist each hit a two-run shot in a four-run fifth inning that carried the Tampa Bay Rays past the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-2 on Monday night.

Zobrist’s go-ahead shot appeared to be helped over the fence by right fielder Jose Tabata’s outstretched glove. Longoria’s drive was a no-doubter.

“Yeah, it’s good to get that out of the way,” Longoria said. “The wind usually blows dead in from left here, so I don’t put too much emphasis on the ballpark that way.”

Russell Martin had two hits for the Pirates, including an RBI double. Gaby Sanchez walked three times and scored a run.

Shelley Duncan, in the running to be a right-handed bat off the Tampa Bay bench, hit a solo home run and added a double. Rays starter Matt Moore labored through 4 2-3 wild innings, allowing only two earned runs but yielding six hits and five walks.

Moore conceded it was a struggle to limit the damage. He said pitching coach Jim Hickey asked him, “‘What’s going on out there?”’

“I just told him I was trying to make pitches with my back against the wall,” Moore said. “That’s really what it was about. A couple times with the bases loaded ... it was about battling with runners on base.

“It’s there when I need it. But the 2-0 counts and 3-1s, it’s got to get better than that. But it will.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon said 106 pitches in less than five innings is way too many, obviously. He liked that Moore worked in some good off-speed pitches in key situations, but said he needs to see more consistency out of the fastball.

“I’ve always been told he’s a notoriously slow starter, and that happens with some guys,” Maddon said. “You’ve just got to be patient. He’s a young man and he’s got a really, really bright future.”

Pirates starter Kyle McPherson had a different problem. He walked only one in five innings, but gave up the home runs to Zobrist, Longoria and Duncan.

McPherson, a rookie who showed flashes of excellence in limited major league duty last year, can’t afford to make the same mistakes as Moore.

“The first four frames were quality,” Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle said. “And then the ball got elevated and he wasn’t able to keep the ball off the middle of the plate and up. It was some big league hitters, and he worked in some hot zones, and they put the barrel on it.”

NOTES: In a swap of minor leaguers, the Rays traded LHP Kyle Lobstein to Detroit for C Curt Casali. Lobstein, a 2008 second-round draft pick who was given a $1.5 million signing bonus by Tampa Bay out of high school, was selected by the Tigers in the Rule 5 draft at the winter meetings. He wasn’t going to make Detroit’s major league roster, so instead of sending him back to Tampa Bay per Rule 5 regulations, the teams worked out a deal that allows Detroit to keep Lobstein and send him to the minors. ... Tampa Bay scratched Luke Scott from the lineup as a precaution due to tightness in his right calf. ... The Pirates announced their Sunday workout at PNC Park will be free and open to the public from 1 to 3 p.m.

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • aaaba 0721 Martella’s sweeps past Delweld

    A six-run rally in the first helped guide Martella’s Pharmacy to an 8-1 win over Delweld in Game 3 of their best-of-5 AAABA League semifinal series at Point Stadium, sweeping the series in the process.
    That rally also continued season-long trends for the clubs, according to their respective managers.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • warshel_0721 Warshel selecting UPJ

    For Kelci Warshel, the call to attend Pitt-Johnstown was based on the availability of her desired major – nursing.
    Taking an opportunity to join the university’s women’s track and field program was a very nice add-on and one that the Richland High graduate is ready to jump into ...
    ... Or hurdle over.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pirates 0721 Rallying Dodgers snap Pirates’ win streak at 3 games

    Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven strong innings, Adrian Gonzalez reached base five times and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 on Monday night.
    Ryu (11-5) joined Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw in making the Dodgers the first team in the majors with three 11-game winners.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pitt picked sixth in cluttered Coastal

    Florida State was an obvious choice as a favorite in one of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s divisions.
    In the other one, the pecking order was nowhere near that clear.

    July 21, 2014

  • Local Sports Briefs

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Bedford gets past Clearfield

    Bedford’s Jake Stover had two hits with double and three RBIs in a 9-6 win against host Clearfield in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • American Legion Region 7: Claysburg edges Beech Creek

    Claysburg’s Mike Mock went 2-for-2 with a two-run home run in the fourth inning to help his squad get by Beech Creek 7-6 during Sunday’s winners-bracket game in the Pa. American Legion Region 7 Tournament.

    July 21, 2014

  • Pirates 0720 Pirates rally to keep sweep

    Taking the extra base was the key for the Pittsburgh Pirates in completing a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies.
    Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, Neil Walker followed with a home run and the Pirates overcame a three-run deficit to beat the Rockies 5-3 Sunday.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • LAG 0720 AAABA League playoffs: Laurel Auto Group moves closer to advancing

    Second-seeded Laurel Auto Group fell behind early against No. 3 Berkley Hills Renegades on Sunday afternoon at Roxbury Park. But Laurel’s players didn’t lose their composure.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urtz, Pope lead AAABA League award votes

    Logan Urtz hadn’t fielded a ground ball as an infielder or swung a bat in a game for a couple seasons.
    But you can’t take the former infielder out of a starting pitcher.

    July 20, 2014