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Roger Mooney


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 Jays: DeJesus returns, Myers scratched with flu-like symptoms

Posted Apr 3, 2014 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 3, 2014 at 05:49 PM

ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG – The Rays need a win tonight to avoid losing a home series to the Blue Jays for the first time April 2007. The Rays are 19-0-1 against Jays since then, including a three-game sweep at Disney in April 2008.

David DeJesus returns to the lineup after missing the last two games with a bruised right foot. He was originally played left field but has been moved to DH. Matt Joyce, originally the DH, is back in left field.

Wil Myers was scratched after batting practice with flu-like symptoms.

The Rays offense has struggled after Monday’s 9-2. They have yet to hit a home run during the first three games of the season for the first time in franchise history. And they are 1-for-17 with runners in scoring position during the past two games, both losses.

UTL Sean Rodriguez could miss tonight’s game if his wife gives birth to their fourth child. Rodriguez is not with the team, and the Rays could place him on paternity leave and call up a player from Triple A Durham.

Chris Archer makes his first start of the season tonight and the first since he signed his big contract Wednesday. Rays manager Joe Maddon said he doesn’t believe the pressure of the six-year deal with $25.5 million guaranteed will have a negative impact on Archer.

Here are the lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Cabrera LF
Rasmus CF
Bautista RF
Encarnacion DH
Lind 1B
Navarro C
Lawrie 3B
Izturis 2B
Gions SS

Morrow RHP

RAYS
DeJesus DH
Jennings CF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Forsythe LF
Joyce RF
Hanigan C
Escobar SS

Archer RHP


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Jays 3, Rays 0: Postgame notes

Posted Apr 2, 2014 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 2, 2014 at 11:39 PM

Here are some notes following the Rays 3-0 loss Wednesday to the Blue Jays …

—The Rays had the trying run at the plate in the ninth inning for the second consecutive night. They were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and 1-for-17 during the past two games, both losses.

—Matt Moore lost for the first time when allowing six or fewer hits since Sept. 16, 2012. He had been 18-0 in his last 23 starts when allowing no more than six hits.

Moore threw first pitch strikes to only 12 of the 26 batters he faced – 46.2 percent. Last season, Moore threw first pitch strikes to 51.5 percent of the batters he faced – the lowest mark in the majors. The major league average was 60.3 percent.

—Ben Zobrist record his first hit of the season when he lined a ball off the glove of 3B Brett Lawrie with two out in the ninth inning. He was 0-for-9 prior to that at-bat.

—Josh Lueke gave up the first run by a Rays reliever this season when he allowed a long home run to Jose Bautista in the seventh inning.

—With a win in tonight’s series finale the Jays will win their first road series against the Rays since April 6-8, 2007. “It’s a big deal if you’re aware of it, and unfortunately I was, because I heard it being mentioned a couple of times already,” Jays RF Jose Bautista said.

The Jays were 0-19-1 entering this week, with one of those series played at Disney.

—Jays starter Mark Buehrle was one out away from becoming the first major league pitcher to strikeout at least 10 in complete-game shutout during his first start of the year since Boston’s Hideo Nomo did it in 2001.

Buehrle’s 11 strikeouts marked only the second time in his 430 career starts that he reached double digits in strikeouts. He struck out 12 Mariners on April 16, 2005.

It was Buehrle’s first win against the Rays since his perfect game on July 23, 2009.


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Postgame notes from Tuesday’s Rays 4-2 loss to Jays

Posted Apr 2, 2014 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 2, 2014 at 12:20 AM

Some postgame notes from Rays 4-2 loss Tuesday to the visiting Blue Jays …

—The loss means the Rays have won the first two games of a season only three times in team history – 2002, 2010 and 2012.

—The Rays were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. They left the runners on second and third to end the game.

—The Rays had seven hits, four of which were doubles by Desmond Jennings (2), Wil Myers and Evan Longoria.

—Jennings became the second player in team history to have three doubles in his first two games. Vinny Castilla did it in 2001.

—After two games, Matt Joyce is batting .800/.778/1.000. He has reached base or driven in a run in 8 of his 9 plate appearances.

—Alex Cobb lost at the Trop for the first time since Sept. 17, 2012, snapping an eight-game winning streak over 14 home starts.

He recorded more walks (4) than strikeouts (3) for the first time since July 16, 2012 vs. Cleveland – a span of 35 starts.

He allowed the first homer with two or more runners on base of his career when Adam Lind reached him for a three-run homer in the first inning.

—The Blue Jays won for only the fifth time in their last 20 games at the Trop.

—Instant replay was used twice Tuesday.

The umpires reviewed a long foul ball down the right field line by Jays center fielder Colby Rasmus in the seventh inning, needing 3 minutes, 34 seconds to uphold their call.

Since that review was at the umpire’s discretion, Jays manager John Gibbons still had his review, and he used it in the ninth inning when Melky Cabrera was ruled out on a close play at first base to end the inning. Longoria robbed Cabrera of a double down the third base line with a diving stop and threw out the Jays left fielder from his knees. The umpires needed only 1:20 to uphold the call.


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Rays v Jays: DeJesus sits with sore right foot

Posted Apr 1, 2014 by Roger Mooney

Updated Apr 1, 2014 at 05:17 PM

ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG – LF David DeJesus, who left Monday’s game in the eighth inning after being struck on the right foot with a pitch, is not in tonight’s lineup against the Blue Jays.

“It’s sore, but it’s expected,” DeJesus said.

OF Matt Joyce will replace DeJesus in both left field and at the top of the order.

DeJesus said he doesn’t thing the injury will require a trip to the disabled list.

“It’s one of those things,” he said. “You got to get the (swelling) out.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon said DeJesus could be available to pinch-hit later in the game.

RHP Alex Cobb makes his first start of the year tonight against Blue Jays RHP Drew Hutchison, who hails from Lakeland.

Jays SS Jose Reyes, who left Monday’s game after aggreivating a hamstring injury during his first at-bat of the season, was placed on the 15-day disabled list.

Here are the lineups:

JAYS
Cabrera LF
Rasmus CF
Bautista RF
Encarnacion 1B
Lind DH
Navarro C
Lawrie 3B
Goins 2B
Diaz SS

Hutchison P

RAYS
Joyce LF
Myers RF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Jennings CF
Forsythe DH
Hanigan C
Escobar SS

Cobb P

 

 


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Rays v Jays: Happy Opening Day

Posted Mar 31, 2014 by Roger Mooney

Updated Mar 31, 2014 at 02:41 PM

ROGER MOONEY
ST. PETERSBURG – Happy Opening Day!

The Rays begin the 2014 season this afternoon against the Blue Jays at Tropicana Field. David Price and knuckleballer R.A. Dickey – the 2012 Cy Young Award winners – will square off.

There are plenty of expectations surrounding this Rays team, with predictions ranging from AL East champs to World Series winners.

“I prefer having a lot of expectations to none,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

This will be the third Opening Day start for Price, one shy of the team record of four held by James Shields.

Fans at today’s game will get the first look at the revamped batter’s eye in center field and the walkway that stretches from foul pole to foul pole.

Here are the lineups:

JAYS
Reyes SS
Cabrera LF
Bautista RF
Encarnacion 1B
Navarro DH
Lawrie 3B
Rasmus CF
Isturis 2B
Thole C

Dickey RHP (14-13, 4.21 ERA in 2013)

RAYS
DeJesus LF
Myers RF
Zobrist 2B
Longoria 3B
Loney 1B
Jennings CF
Joyce DH
Molina C
Escobar SS

Price LHP (10-8, 3.33 ERA in 2013)


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