Rays' Moore shuts down Red Sox, 3-0

Rays' Moore shuts down Red Sox, 3-0
July 22, 2013, 10:00 pm
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BOSTON -- Brandon Workman was good. But Matt Moore was better.

That was the story on Monday night at Fenway Park, as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Red Sox 3-0, closing the gap on Boston's AL East lead to just a half-game.

Moore went the distance, picking up his first-career complete game in a 109-pitch gem, allowing only two hits while walking one and striking out four. It marks Moore's 14th win of the season.

Meanwhile, Workman delivered a six-inning performance, allowing only two runs on seven hits in his first-career outing at Fenway Park.

Moore had thrown only 65 pitches by the time Workman was done for the night after throwing 103 pitches through six innings. In those six innings, the Rays scored two runs -- one in the first, and another in the fifth -- while the Red Sox weren't able to get much going offensively.

James Loney gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, after hitting a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Ben Zobrist, who reached on a one-out single and then advanced to third on an Evan Longoria single.

The Rays then later took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fifth as Loney drove in another run, this time driving a two-out single into right field with runners on the corners, scoring Yunel Escobar from third.

Red Sox reliever Jose De La Torre came in for Workman to begin the seventh, and allowed just one hit in 2.2 innings. But he got into some trouble in the top of the ninth, after walking consecutive batters to load the bases with one out. Desmond Jennings made him pay with a sacrifice fly to center field, scoring Matt Joyce to give Tampa Bay a 3-0 lead.

Craig Breslow came in for De La Torre -- who threw 50 pitches -- after the sacrifice fly, and got Zobrist to fly out to end the inning.

But the Red Sox couldn't get anything going in the bottom of the ninth, and dropped the first game of the series.

With Moore's dominant stuff this season, it's hard to believe that Monday night marked the first time in his short MLB career that he pitched into the ninth inning. But it was, and he shut down the Red Sox for his first-career complete game shutout. It also marked the first nine-inning shutout thrown by an opposing pitcher at Fenway Park since Roy Halladay with Toronto in 2009.

Workman got the loss on Monday, but he gave the Red Sox everything they could have asked for through six innings for a kid making his first-career start at Fenway Park and just his second-career MLB start. Workman allowed just two runs in those six innings. And including his first start in Oakland before the All-Star break, he is just the second Red Sox pitcher since 2000 to allow two runs or fewer in each of his first two MLB starts, along with Justin Masterson in 2008.

TURNING POINT: With the Rays leading 2-0 in the bottom of the seventh, it seemed as if the Red Sox were going to break through against Moore. David Ortiz ripped a two-out single into right field, and then advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Mike Napoli -- who was the hero the night before with a walk-off against the Yankees -- flied out to right field to end any threat.

BY THE NUMBERS: The two hits that the Red Sox had against Moore on Monday night matched their season-low total. The last game with only two hits came on April 6 in Toronto.

QUOTE OF NOTE: "He shut us out. A lot of quality pitches. He stayed out of the middle of the plate. Three base runners all night. We really never had a chance to get anything going. He was efficient. A very good fastball. A good changeup. He kept us off-stride enough, and still, a lot of power to good locations in the strike zone." -- John Farrell on Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Moore.