Even when they're struggling at the plate, solid pitching continues to help the Tampa Bay Rays win games.
Tampa Bay (65-45) averaged 4.7 runs while winning five of six before totaling three runs in the last three games. However, the Rays managed enough to avoid a third straight loss with Saturday's 2-1, 10-inning victory over San Francisco.
Wil Myers had two hits, including the winning single with the bases loaded, and David Price threw nine strong innings in his duel with fellow Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum to help the Rays snap the Giants' three-game winning streak.
The Rays are 11-3 against NL opponents this season while San Francisco (49-60) is 3-7 against the AL.
Tampa Bay's starting pitchers are second in the AL with a 3.77 ERA, and have allowed one or no runs 39 times.
Hernandez (6-11, 4.71 ERA) gave up two Tuesday, but he also completed his first game since 2010 when he was pitching for Cleveland and known as Fausto Carmona. The right-hander surrendered a two-run homer in the ninth inning and four other hits in a 5-2 win over Arizona to improve to 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA against NL opponents this season.
Hernandez has allowed three or fewer runs in six straight starts."I controlled, threw strikes, kept the ball down, made a lot of ground balls," Hernandez said. "Whenever I go to the mound, I never think about what happened (previously). I think about today."
Hernandez's only appearance against the Giants came in 2011 when he yielded three runs in six innings of a 3-1 loss.
Myers, who had his 12-game hitting streak snapped in Friday's 4-1 loss, is batting .431 with 15 RBIs in his last 17 contests. He recorded his first walk-off hit in front of his parents Saturday."He does not lack for confidence," manager Joe Maddon said. "He really wanted to be in that moment."
Jeff Francoeur had three hits but the top four hitters in San Francisco's lineup went 0 for 16 on Saturday.
Guillermo Moscoso makes his first start of the season Sunday after he allowed a two-run homer, another hit, two walks and struck out three in 2 2-3 innings of a 7-3 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday in his Giants debut.
"How long this will be, I can't tell you," manager Bruce Bochy told the Giants' official website. "But it was time to mix it up, change it up."
Moscoso went 8-10 with a 4.10 ERA in 24 starts during 2011 and 2012 for Oakland and Colorado. He was 0-1 with an 8.38 ERA in two starts against Tampa while with Oakland in 2011.
Evan Longoria is hitless in his last 17 at-bats, but is 1 for 3 with a double and three walks versus Moscoso.
|San Francisco Giants|
|July 31, 2013||Pablo Sandoval||Day-to-Day||Bruised right heel|
|July 30, 2013||Buster Posey||Day-to-Day||Ill|
|July 29, 2013||Tony Abreu||15-Day DL||Left knee bursitis|
|July 25, 2013||Marco Scutaro||Day-to-Day||Back soreness|
|July 21, 2013||Jeremy Affeldt||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|July 09, 2013||Hector Sanchez||15-Day DL||Strained right shoulder|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|July 29, 2013||Matt Moore||15-Day DL||Left elbow soreness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 28, 2013||Evan Longoria||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis, left foot|
|June 16, 2013||Alex Cobb||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2013||Kelly Johnson||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay bullpen came through on a day when the Rays' strong rotation had a hiccup.
Wil Myers homered and four relievers allowed one hit over 4 1-3 scoreless innings to help the Rays beat the San Francisco Giants 4-3 on Sunday.
"Our offensive has been struggling a little bit lately, but I just think as a team our pitching has held us in the game," Myers said. "It gives a lot of confidence."
Alex Torres (4-0) started the bullpen parade by replacing Roberto Hernandez with two outs in the fifth and struck out two over 1 1-3 innings. Jake McGee worked a perfect seventh and Joel Peralta left Hunter Pence stranded at second after a two-out double in the eighth before Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 27th save.
"The guys are fantastic," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "The bullpen, they're going to be the best in the American League. I think they're close to that right now. A lot of good stuff out of the bullpen."
Tampa Bay took a 4-3 lead in the sixth on Sam Fuld 's hit against Jose Mijares (0-3) to help the Rays win for the 25th in 31 games. The Rays took 2 of 3 from the defending World Series champion Giants and improved to 11-0-2 in their last 13 series.
San Francisco, last in the NL West, has lost 10 of 14. Manager Bruce Bochy said lineup changes are likely forthcoming, with Pence or Marco Scutaro possibly moving to the leadoff spot.
"We're not getting any production from our leadoff hitters," Bochy said. "We're definitely going through a tough time and we're going to change things up here a little bit. We've talked about Pence going there. (Pence) says he's done it before, and Scutaro has experience there, and he's done a good job of it."
Brandon Crawford drove in two with a triple off Hernandez as the Giants grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Evan Longoria , mired in an 0 for 19 slide, pulled the Rays even at 3 on a run-scoring single during the fifth.
Tampa Bay went up 2-1 when Myers hit a two-run shot off Guillermo Moscoso in the first. Buster Posey had put the Giants up 1-0 on an RBI single during the top of the inning.
Myers has been the Rays' most potent bat since the All-Star break, hitting .417 with five homers and 15 RBIs.
It was Moscoso's initial start this season, taking the place of Barry Zito , who was moved to the bullpen, and first since last Aug. 15 while with Colorado. The right-hander allowed three runs, four hits and four walks over 4 2-3 innings.
Hernandez gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Rays CF Desmond Jennings was out of the lineup due to a sprained left middle finger. ... Giants RHP Ryan Vogelsong (fractured right hand) allowed one run and five hits over six innings for Double-A Richmond. It hasn't been decided if he will need one more rehab start. ... Tampa Bay LHP Matt Moore , on the disabled list with elbow soreness, played catch. ... Giants CF Gregor Blanco tripped and went down on a knee running back to the dugout after grounding out in the first. ... Florida State University baseball coach Mike Martin threw a ceremonial first pitch. Posey played for the Seminoles.