That’s how manager Joe Maddon imagined this pesky club would perform all year.
“That’s the way it’s supposed to look like,” Maddon said after the Rays sent the New York Yankees to their seventh loss in nine game, 8-3 Thursday night.
Escobar hit a two-run shot off Boone Logan later in the eighth as the Rays’ won a second straight after losing six of seven.
“We’ve had some tough losses in the past week but the guys hung in there really well,” Maddon said. “It’s going to be the roller coaster AL East all summer.”
Tampa Bay had 14 hits after amassing 15 in a 6-2 win over Boston on Wednesday night.
The 24-year-old Moore (9-3) snapped a three-start skid. The lefty opened the season 8-0 before yielding 20 runs over 12 1-3 innings in three starts this month. He blanked the Yankees until the sixth when two walks and a single loaded the bases with no outs.
“Things were going well until the sixth inning,” Moore said. “That was kind of the makey or breaky type of moment where it’s either going to be a five-run inning with Robbie Cano up, bases loaded, no outs. Or you could keep the team in the game the way we were able to.”
Moore then got an out in the seventh before being lifted following Lyle Overbay’s ground-rule double to left field, only the fourth hit he allowed.
Jennings and Sean Rodriguez had consecutive two-out doubles in the seventh to chase Pettitte, making his first start as a 41-year-old—his birthday was Saturday.
“For me it’s another frustrating night,” Pettitte said. “We come back and score three runs and I go out there and give them right back. Joe (Girardi) trusts me to get out of the inning and I can’t get Rodriguez out. I need to be able to shut these guys down.”
Jennings put Pettitte in trouble on the first pitch of the game, hitting a double that landed on the left-field line for his first of his three hits.
The Rays started the third with three straight singles. Jennings led off with a single and went to second when the ball scooted under center fielder Brett Gardner’s glove for an error. After Rodriguez singled, Zobrist, who came in 9 for 22 (.409) against Pettitte, drove in Jennings with a single.
Longoria’s sacrifice fly made it 3-0 and gave the All-Star third baseman 500 RBIs in 710 games, eighth quickest to reach the mark in major league history.
“It’s a pretty good amount of RBIs. It’s something I’m pretty proud of,” Longoria said. “Hopefully there’ll be a ton more.”
In 6 2-3 innings, Pettitte gave up five runs and nine hits. He has given up 14 runs in four starts since returning from the disabled list June 3.
Pitching coach “Larry (Rothschild) said for the first five innings he didn’t make a lot of mistakes, but the ones he made they hit them,” manager Joe Girardi said.
NOTES: Maddon said RHP Alex Colome will start Saturday. … Tampa Bay played its 2,500th game in franchise history. The Rays, who started out as the Devil Rays in 1998, are 1,141-1,359 overall. Rothschild was Tampa Bay’s first manager. Current Rays bench coach Dave Martinez singled for the team’s first hit. … Rays ace David Price (left triceps strain) is scheduled to make his first rehabilitation start Friday for Class A Charlotte. … There was a moment of silence for actor and Yankees fan James Gandolfini, who died Wednesday. … Yankees broadcaster and former catcher John Flaherty was in the Rays’ first lineup. … Yankees OF Vernon Wells went 0 for 3 and is 6 for 59 in June.