Series: Game 2 of 4

Tampa Bay leads 2-0 (as of 5/1)

Game 1: Monday, April 30
in 12
Tampa Bay3
Game 2: Tuesday, May 1
Tampa Bay3
Game 3: Wednesday, May 2
Tampa Bay5
Game 4: Thursday, May 3
Tampa Bay4

Mariners 1

(11-14, 8-8 away)

Rays 3

(16-8, 10-1 home)

    Coverage:  SUN

    7:10 PM ET, May 1, 2012

    Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida 

    123456789 R H E
    SEA 001000000 1 9 0
    TB 20100000 - 3 3 0

    W: M. Moore (1-1)

    L: H. Noesi (1-3)

    S: F. Rodney (8)

    Rays' win over Mariners is their ninth in past 10 games

    Associated Press

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- With Evan Longoria expected to be sidelined for up to two months, Matt Joyce may be heating up at the right time for the surging Tampa Bay Rays.

    A first-time All-Star a year ago when he led the major leagues in hitting as late as early June, Joyce delivered a solo homer and RBI triple to pace a 3-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night.

    Joyce had two of Tampa Bay's three hits while batting in Longoria's customary No. 3 hole for the first time this season. Earlier in the day, Longoria was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a partially torn left hamstring.

    "Longo has some big shoes to fill," Joyce said. "I think the guys realize that we have to pick it up. ... Injuries are part of the game. Guys go through slumps and you have to pick each other up. That's what a good team does"

    Rookie Matt Moore (1-1) scattered seven hits over five innings to get the win, which is the ninth in 10 games for the AL East-leading Rays.

    Michael Saunders had a solo homer and Jesus Montero went 4-for-4 for Seattle, however the Mariners went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position to lose for the fourth straight time following a season-best four-game winning streak.

    Joyce tripled off Mariners starter Hector Noesi (1-3), then scored on Luke Scott's sacrifice fly for a 2-0 lead in the first. Joyce's team-leading sixth homer of the season made it 3-1 in the third.

    "I feel very comfortable hitting in the middle of the order," said the left-handed hitting Joyce, who figures to get more opportunities to bat third against right-handed pitching. He's batting .346 (18 for 52) over his last 16 games and has 10 extra-base hits in his past 11 games.

    Burke Badenhop and Joel Peralta combined for three scoreless innings out of Tampa Bay's bullpen. Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth to earn his eighth save in eight opportunities.

    "The bullpen was spectacular," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

    The Rays learned before the game that Longoria, a three-time All-Star batting .329 with four homers and 19 RBIs, will be out four to eight weeks after being hurt attempting to steal second base on Monday.

    A bit of good news for Tampa Bay was Moore finally got his first victory of the season. The hard-throwing 22-year-old left-hander, who started and won the team's postseason opener against Texas last October, walked one and struck out seven in the shortest of his five starts this year.

    Saunders homered off Moore in the third. Seattle threatened in the fourth and fifth against the Rays starter, and again in the eighth when Montero doubled off Joel Peralta, but the Mariners failed to get a runner past second in each situation.

    Noesi allowed three runs and three hits in 5 2/3 innings. The right-hander, acquired along with Montero in an offseason trade that sent pitcher Michael Pineda to the New York Yankees, walked three and struck out one.

    The Mariners outhit the Rays 9-3. They had 11 hits in a 3-2, 12-inning loss in the series opener on Monday.

    "To be a consistent offensive club, we have to finish innings off," Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. "We're just not doing that."

    Game notes

    Seattle RF Ichiro Suzuki singled off Moore in the fifth inning to tie Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith on the career hit list with 2,460. ... To fill Longoria's spot on the roster, the Rays purchased the contract of INF Will Rhymes from Triple-A Durham. To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP Kyle Farnsworth was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL. ... Tampa Bay prospect Tim Beckham, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, was suspended 50 games after a second violation of the minor league drug program.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Game Information

    StadiumTropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL
    Attendance9,972 (29.3% full) - % is based on regular season capacity
    Game Time2:37
    UmpiresHome Plate - Ron Kulpa, First Base - Jim Wolf, Second Base - Derryl Cousins, Third Base - Alan Porter

    Research Notes

    If Evan Longoria is out for an extended period of time, the Rays will be worse for his absence. How much worse? Longoria had the second-most Wins Above Replacement from 2009 to 2011. Longoria did not play in 29 games last season. The Rays were 18-11 in those games (73-60 when he did play)
    Evan Longoria's defense rates among the best in baseball for anyone, let alone those who play third base. He's second in the majors in Defensive Runs Saved since 2009.

    ESPN Stats & Information