Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Braves blank Rays, 2-0
Posted May 20, 2012 by Joey Johnston
Updated May 20, 2012 at 04:16 PM
ST. PETERSBURG – The Tampa Bay Rays had precious few opportunities on Sunday afternoon, but squandered them all in a 2-0 loss against the Atlanta Braves before 24,579 fans at Tropicana Field.
Atlanta right-hander Tim Hudson (3-1) kept the Rays off-balance all afternoon, surrendering just four hits in 7 2/3 innings. Rays left-hander David Price (6-3), bidding to become the first seven-game winner in the major leagues this season, allowed six hits and had seven strikeouts in seven innings.
The Rays, who were shut out 15 times in 2011, were held scoreless for the first time this season.
Carlos Pena figured heavily in two key moments.
In the sixth inning, with the bases loaded and two outs, Pena slammed a drive that was flagged down by Atlanta’s Michael Bourn at the edge of the center-field warning track.
In the eighth, B.J. Upton collected a two-out infield single to chase Hudson. Left-handed reliever Jonny Venters promptly hit Matt Joyce and Pena, loading the bases. Designated hitter Luke Scott, with an 0-2 count, hit what looked to be an RBI single to the right side. But it hit Pena’s leg as he ran in the basepaths, making for an automatic out (Scott was credited with a single).
Braves right-hander Craig Kimbrel worked a scoreless ninth inning for the save.
Atlanta scored on David Ross’ solo home run in the second inning, then Jason Heyward collected an RBI single in the sixth.
The Rays begin a three-game home series against the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday night. Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (4-0) is Tampa Bay’s scheduled starter.