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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Rays v O’s: The streak-breaking Roberto Hernandez
Posted Apr 4, 2013 by Roger Mooney
Updated Apr 4, 2013 at 01:10 PM
ST. PETERSBURG Today will be a historic day in Rays history because all sorts of streaks with end as soon as Roberto Hernandez delivers the first pitch of the game.
Hernandez will end the Rays’ streak of games started by a pitcher 30 years old or younger at 1,060. He also will be the first free-agent pitcher to start a game since Hideo Nomo on July 15, 2005 — snapping a streak of 1,207 games started by a pitcher signed by or developed in the organization.
When asked what he would like to see from Hernandez this afternoon against the visiting Orioles, Rays manager Joe Maddon said, “Hopefully a lot of ground balls and hopefully (the infielders are) standing in the right spots.”
The infielders have been standing in the right spots during the first two games of the series, which the teams split. Led by 3B Evan Longoria and SS Yunel Escobar, the Rays infield defense has been outstanding.
Matt Joyce, the hero of last night’s come-from-behind 8-7 victory with his walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, said he received more than 50 texts or voice messages from his friends and family.
As for the rest of his night, “That’s a good night’s sleep,” he said.
The Rays will try for their first winning streak of this young season.
Here are the lineups: