Rays close out 2015 by slamming Blue Jays

by Gary Shelton on October 4, 2015 · 1 comment

in general, Tampa Bay Rays

Butler blasts a 2-run shot in the fifth inning/ANDREW J. KRAMER

Butler blasts a 2-run shot in the fifth inning./ANDREW J. KRAMER

For an entire season, Tampa Bay had waited for this imaginary beast called the "grand slam.''

Other teams hit them. Some others hit a lot of them.

But not this one. Not for  161 games. Oh, there were solo shots, and there were some two-run jobs, and every now and then, there was a three-spot. But a slam? Those didn't happen for the Rays.

Until Sunday. when designated hitter Joey Butler hit one.

Butler's homer was part of a nine-run first inning, another thing the Rays don't normally do, against the Toronto Blue Jays in a 12-3 victory. Butler later hit a two-run shot, giving him six RBI for the day.

The Blue Jays had tried to get a little cute. They had brought back Mark Buehrle on one days's rest so he could get 200 innings for the 15th season, a rare feat. (Only four men have done it). But Buerhle recorded only two outs in the teeth of the Rays' outbreak. Mikie Mahtook hit a two-run shot in the inning, too.

For the Rays, even better news may have been the pitching of Matt Moore, who threw six innings and allowed only one run. It was the fourth straight impressive start for Moore, who was horrible when he first came back from injury. His recent work gives the Rays a legit shot at next year's rotation.

In Moore's first sting with the big club this year, he was 1-3 with an 8.78 ERA, a 2.06 Whip and an opponent's batting average of .372. In his second stint, he was 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA, a 1.12 Whip and a .243 average.

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