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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Monday’s game draws highest TV ratings of season and night
Posted Jul 23, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated Jul 23, 2013 at 12:17 PM
BOSTON The Rays are on the verge of taking the lead in the American League and people are watching.
Monday’s 3-0 win against the first-place Red Sox at Fenway Park was the highest-rated Rays game of the season and the night’s highest-rated program in prime time in the Tampa Bay market, according to the team.
The game, televised on Sun Sports, drew a game rating of 8.9 and a 14.0 market share in the 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. time slot.
The Rays won behind the first complete-game shutout of Matt Moore’s career.
The victory moved the Rays to within a half-game of the Red Sox. This is the closest the Rays have been to the division lead since they were a game out of first place at the start of play on April 13.
One month ago today the Rays were in last place in the American League East, percentage points behind the fourth-place Blue Jays.
Thanks to a 21-4 run, that includes six-straight wins and victories in 18 of their last 20 games, the Rays are within a win tonight of moving into first place.
Their 59-41 record is the second-best in the American League and the third-best in the majors.
This four-game series continues tonight when Roberto Hernandez (5-10, 4.90 ERA) faces Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester (8-6, 4.58).
Lester’s start was pushed back from Saturday to tonight because the Red Sox wanted to give him a little more rest coming out of the All-Star Break. Lester was 6-0 with a 2.72 ERA in his first nine starts of the year. In his last starts he is 2-6 with a 6.27 ERA.
Hernandez, whose 10 losses are tied for the third most in the American League, has pitched a quality start (at least 6 innings with 3 earned runs or less) in each of his last four starts.