Moore mows down Red Sox in Tampa’s 3-0 shutout

imageBaseball’s hottest team shut down baseball’s best hitting team Monday night, tightening the American League East race to half-a-game as Tampa Bay rode the complete game shut out of lefty Matt Moore for a 3-0 win over the Boston Red Sox.
Moore stymied Boston on just two hits while walking one and striking out four in a 110 pitch masterpiece. Tampa’s victory marked its 14th win in the last 15 games, and improved the scorching hot Rays to 21-4 in their last 25 games.
Tampa scratched out a run in the first inning off 24-year old Boston starter Brandon Workman on James Loney’s RBI single, and added a second run in the 5th when Loney, celebrating the birth of his child earlier this week, collected his second RBI of the night by scoring Ben Zobrist, who reached on an infield single. The Rays tacked on an insurance run in the top of the ninth when Desmond Jennings hit a sacrifice fly to score Matt Joyce.
While Tampa got just enough offense to get on the scoreboard at Fenway Park, Moore was masterful in holding Boston to just two hits, a second-inning single by Mike Napoli and a seventh inning single by David Ortiz. Boston never advanced a base runner farther than second base on the night as Moore notched his 14th win against 3 losses.
Boston got a second straight quality start from young Workman, who went six innings, giving up two runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out four. Tampa was patient against the Boston rookie, forcing him to throw 32 pitches in the first inning. Despite the loss the Red Sox got some quality relief from recently activated Jose De La Torre, who spared a fatigued Boston bullpen by turning in two-and-a-third innings of quality relief, giving up a lone run while striking out three, walking two and giving up just one single. Workman took the loss for Boston, his first decision as a major league pitcher.
With Moore in complete control the game was a time-line contrast to Sunday night’s marathon between Boston and the Yankees. Tampa’s win took barely three hours to complete while the Red Sox 8-7 win Sunday over New York spilled into the 11th inning and was completed in just under five hours.
The Rays and Red Sox are back at it Tuesday night at Fenway for the second of four games in the current series. Southpaw Jon Lester returns to the mound Tuesday for his first post-All-Star game start. Lester stands at 8-6 on the season after a 6-0 start and currently sports a 4.58 ERA. His start was pushed back two days to give him more rest and a chance to charge his batteries. Lester will face Tampa right-hander Roberto Hernandez who comes in at 5-10 on the season with a 4.90.
With Matt Garza headed from Chicago to Texas and off the July 31 free agent watch list, it remains to be seen of the Red Sox will make a move in the market for another starter, reliever, or perhaps both. Clay Buchholz received the second opinion on his shoulder injury he was seeking Monday from Dr. James Andrews, a top ortho specialist. Andrews confirmed the original diagnosis of an inflamed bursar sac in the pitcher’s right shoulder. Buchholz was given the green light to return to a throwing program although none was announced by the team. Earlier in the day manager John Farrell indicated Buchholz may be out until mid August and perhaps even the end of August.
In other team news Boston announced that back-up catcher David Ross, sidelined for more than a month with his second trip to the concussion list, will rejoin the team later this week. No activation date for Ross has been set which means Ryan Lavarnway will continue to back up Jarrod Saltalamachia behind the plate. Franklin Morales is schedule to return from the DL shortly. Sidelined with a pectoral strain, Morales threw a successful bullpen Monday and is expected to begin a rehab assignment early next week.

Categories: A-AMERICAN LEAGUE, American League Happenings

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