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Rays pitcher much more like Moore in 8-3 win over Yankees


Published:   |   Updated: June 21, 2013 at 05:53 PM

NEW YORK - The milestone RBI came on a fly ball to center field, a sacrifice fly that drove in the third run of the game and gave Evan Longoria 500 RBIs for his career.

"It doesn't really matter to anyone else," Longoria said, "but to me it's pretty important."

His next two RBIs came on home runs, which was more to his liking. The ball tends to jump out of Yankee Stadium, and Longoria made it jump with his first multi-home run game of the season.

Longoria's output paced an offense that looked kind of familiar and was supported by another familiar sight - a strong outing by Matt Moore.

It all added up to an 8-3 victory against the Yankees, the Rays' second straight after they began this road trip with two losses.

"That's how it's supposed to look like," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "We've had some tough losses in the past week, but the guys have hung in there really well."

Moore pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since May 19 at Baltimore when he earned his last victory. He held the Yankees to four hits and three runs, with all the runs coming in the sixth inning.

Instead of crumbling, which has been a symptom common among Rays starters when faced with a jam, Moore limited the damage and ended a five-start winless streak that included losses his past three times out.

"That's what Matty can look like on a more consistent basis," Maddon said. "And that's really big because he has the kind of stuff that beats a good a good lineup and a good team in a good venue. That's who he is."

Trailing 4-0, the Yankees loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth inning. All three runners scored on a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Robinson Cano and a ground out by Travis Hafner. But, it could have been much worse, and in recent games, it was much worse.

"That's a make-you or break-you type of moment where that's either going to be a five-run inning, Robbie Cano up, bases loaded, no outs or you can keep the team in the game like we were able to," Moore said.

The rest of the night belonged to the offense, which reached Yankees lefty Andy Pettitte for nine of their 14 hits.

Wil Myers, moved up to fifth in the order as Maddon played every right-handed hitter he has, singled in the second inning and scored the first run of his career. Desmond Jennings, moved to lead off in place of the left-handed swinging Matt Joyce, had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and scored twice.

Yunel Escobar hit a two-run homer. Sean Rodriguez doubled home Jennings in the seventh to give Moore a 5-3 lead one inning after the Yankees nearly tied the score.

But the night belonged to Longoria, who now has 502 career RBIs after his three-RBI performance.

Longoria's sacrifice fly in the third inning scored Rodriguez. Longoria needed only 710 games to reach 500 RBIs.

"It's pretty significant to me," Longoria said. "It's a mile marker, it's a pretty good amount of RBIs, and something I'm pretty proud of. It's something I'll be able to look back on and say at least I had 500. Hopefully there's a ton more."

Only seven active players reached 500 RBIs faster than Longoria - Ryan Howard (575 games), Albert Pujols (623), Todd Helton (651), Josh Hamilton (667), Mark Teixeira (694), Miguel Cabrera (697) and Justin Morneau (706).

His 501st RBI came on a solo home run into the right-field seats in the sixth inning and No. 502 came in the eighth when Longoria drove his second homer of the night and 16th of the season into the Yankees bullpen in right-center field.

"This a good park to hit in," Longoria said. "It allowed me to get comfortable, allow the ball to get deep and drive it that way."

rmooney@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7227

Twitter: @RMooneyTBO

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