Outstanding pitching has been the theme of the second half for the Tampa Bay Rays, but it was the offense that helped them avoid a season-high fifth straight loss.
Matt Moore has generally received a nice boost from the Rays' bats - even though he's rarely needed it of late.
Moore has allowed seven runs in his last six starts, and he'll try to win a fifth straight decision Thursday night when visiting Tampa Bay opens this four-game set looking to continue its recent dominance of the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Rays (71-59) posted a 1.70 ERA from July 28-Aug. 23, sparking a 19-6 run that catapulted them from 3 1/2 games out of the AL's second wild-card position to a 2 1/2-game edge for the top spot.
Tampa Bay totaled 11 runs and fell back out of playoff position during a four-game skid, but the offense got going again Wednesday. Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer in the first inning - one of his two blasts - and B.J. Upton added a three-run shot in the second en route to an 8-4 win tha...