Phils' bats back Buchanan vs. Rays
PHILADELPHIA -- The Rays' offensive struggles continued Monday night in a 5-3 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
"There's not a lot to say about today, it was not pretty," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We didn't pitch well. We didn't hit well. Our approach wasn't very good. Good thing we get to come back tomorrow and try to do it again."
After the Rays loaded the bases and did not score in the first, Logan Forsythe's two-run double off David Buchanan in the second gave them a 2-0 lead.
The Phillies answered with three in the bottom half of the inning, scoring their first run on a wild pitch by Rays starter Matt Moore coupled with Cesar Hernandez's two-run double.
Maikel Franco and Darin Ruf had RBI singles off Alex Colome in the fifth to push the Phillies' lead to 5-2. The Rays cut the lead to 5-3 when Kevin Kiermaier tripled to lead off the seventh and scored on Brandon Guyer's single.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Moore's struggles continue: Moore continued to have command issues in his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery. For the fifth time in those four starts, the left-hander lost the lead. After two innings, the Phillies erased a 2-0 deficit to take a 3-2 lead, and Moore threw 54 pitches. Moore gave way to Colome with two outs in the fifth, making his final line four runs on five hits, three walks and three strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. Of the 83 pitches he threw, just 48 went for strikes. More >
Buchanan provides length: Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin hasn't hidden how displeased he's been with the inability of his starters to throw deep into games and the team's over-reliance on the bullpen. Monday night, Buchanan picked up the bullpen by tossing 98 pitches and allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings. His 98 pitches tied a season high, as did his four strikeouts. This was the fifth time in 15 July games that a Phillies starter notched an out in the seventh inning or later.
"He really made the adjustment to get the ball down in the zone and hit his spots," Mackanin said. "He was throwing quality pitches. It was nice to see us get into the seventh inning."
Buchanan was optioned to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after the game. More >
Francoeur's heads-up play: With the Phillies trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the second, outfielder Jeff Francoeur drew a walk to lead off the inning. After another walk and a bunt single moved him to third, Francoeur darted toward home on a Moore wild pitch with two outs, aware that Buchanan was at the plate and wasn't likely to drive him in. Although the ball didn't bounce too far away from the catcher, Francoeur made it home safely, igniting the audience and keeping the inning alive for two more runs to score.
"I was a little surprised he went," Mackanin said. "That's huge. He plays all out. In order to score on a play like that, you have to anticipate something like that. He anticipated it, and he scored. It was close, but we were real happy he did."
"It's becoming a broken record where we're talking about not capitalizing too many times than not. And we've got to be able to find a way to get that runner in" -- Cash, on the Rays' inability to bring home runs
"At this point, I'm not that concerned. It wasn't good news to hear, but we'll wait and see tomorrow what the trainers say" -- Mackanin, on Franco's elbow injury that made him exit the game early More >
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Kiermaier's triple gave him 10 for the season, which leads the Major Leagues. His nine triples before the All-Star break were the most by an AL player since then-Tiger Curtis Granderson in 2007 (15).
Mackanin challenged home-plate umpire Scott Barry's bottom-of-the-fifth-inning ruling that Francoeur was out trying to score from first on a Ruf single on the grounds that it appeared catcher Curt Casali may have blocked the plate. After an official review, the ruling on the field was upheld, and Francoeur was ruled out via a 9-6-3-2 relay putout. The review lasted an estimated time of 54 seconds.
Rays: Nathan Karns (4-5, 3.63 ERA) will make his first start since July 9 at Kansas City, when he yielded a career-high seven earned runs. He finished the first half with 99 strikeouts, which lead all Major League rookies before the All-Star break. He is 1-0 with a 5.02 ERA in three career Interleague starts. First pitch is set for Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Phillies: Phillies fans will get a sneak peek into the organization's future Tuesday when the Aaron Nola era in Philadelphia begins. The 22-year-old right-hander will make his MLB debut when he starts the game, tasked with living up to the expectations of being the No. 2 prospect in the organization and No. 28 in all of baseball. The Phillies used the seventh pick of the 2014 MLB Draft on Nola.
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