Joyce shines as Rays beat Orioles – MLB BaseballTuesday, July 1, 2014 21:04
Joyce shines as Rays beat Orioles
Matt Joyce put himself in the Tampa Bay Ray’s record books following a sensational performance in the 12-7 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Tampa Bay racked up 11 extra base hits – five home runs and six doubles. The Rays were 4-3 behind Baltimore before Kevin Kiermaier and Logan Forsythe went deep during a seven-run sixth inning to send the Orioles supporters heading for the nearest exits and many Betfair fans tearing up their betting slips.
Ben Zobrist also scored a home run for the Rays, who took three of four from Baltimore after starting the series with a dismal 1-7 record against their AL East rivals. The 12 runs were Tampa Bay’s second-best of the season behind a their 16-run storming of the Yankees in April, in a game that could go down as one of the Betfair shocks of the year.
The day belonged to Joyce, though, with the outfielder finishing 5-for-6 in the win with two home runs, two singles and a double to help the Rays to a morale-boosting win for the MLB’s worst team this season. Joyces’ home run in the third inning ended a drought of 124 at-bats without a home run, and it’s fair to say the Tampa Bay born batter put himself back in Rays fans good books with this impressive return to form.
The 29-year old home-town guy booked himself in the Tampa Bays record book for a single game performance with five hits, becoming only the fifth player in the franchise’s history to achieve the feat, and earning his place as only the third player in Tampa Bay history to tally 12 total bases, while the team broke the record for total bases in a single game with 12 runs from 18 hits, including five home runs and six doubles.
Attempting to record a rare six-hit game and a triple short of only the second cycle in the team’s history, Joyce grounded the first pitch of his ninth inning to shortstop Ryan Flaherty to wrap up the innings and bring a close to his memorable day. Joyce admitted he was desperate to build on his performance and put together a run of form that could possibly help turn the Rays disappointing season around.
“You really don’t have very many days like that, so it’s nice to have one of those days and enjoy it,” Joyce said.
“It comes and goes. Home runs are funny. When you try to hit them, it never seems to happen, and you finally get it out of your head and you’re just trying to square the ball up and you run into some. And they come in bunches, so hopefully they come in a little bit more bunches.”
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