Trying to win his fourth straight start, Moore hopes to help the Rays extend Sale's winless stretch to seven games and record a fourth consecutive victory over the White Sox on Saturday night.
After going 8-0 with a 2.99 ERA in his first nine starts, Moore (11-3, 3.65 ERA) went 0-3 with a 9.31 ERA in the next five. Since then, the left-hander has allowed four runs and overcome 12 walks by striking out 24 in 19 1-3 innings to win three straight.
He gave up two hits and fanned nine in seven innings of a 12-0 victory at Houston on Monday."He's going to continue to get better," manager Joe Maddon said. "That's his 11th win right there and we're still talking about the little foibles that he may have."But to his credit he knows that and he knows that there's room for improvement, and because he does he's going to continue to get better."
Moore improved to 2-1 with a 1.47 ERA against the White Sox (34-49) after he allowed a solo homer to Adam Dunn and two other hits while striking out nine in six innings of a 10-4 victory April 27.
Moore went 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA last season when he squared off both times against Sale (5-7, 2.79), who is 2-1 with a 4.08 ERA as a starter versus Tampa Bay (47-40). Sale allowed two runs, four hits and walked four but struck out seven in seven innings of a 5-2 win over the Rays on April 25.
That victory began a five-start stretch where Sale went 4-0 with a 1.18 ERA. However, after the left-hander missed his next scheduled start May 21 because of shoulder tendinitis, the calendar turned to June, where he went 0-5 with a 3.19 ERA in six outings.
His teammates have totaled 12 runs in those starts, and managed six singles Sunday when Sale gave up three runs and struck out 10 in eight innings of a 4-0 loss to Cleveland."Just another tough one," he said. "Just got to keep your head up, keep plugging along."
Chicago showed little fight while losing for the 25th time in 35 games, 8-3 at Tampa Bay on Friday. Desmond Jennings had three hits and James Loney added two with an RBI for the Rays, who have outscored their opponents 58-28 while winning nine of 12."As a team we're doing a really good job of getting better at-bats and that's huge to make sure that the team keeps hitting the way we're doing right now," Rays catcher Jose Molina said.
Loney is batting .406 during his 16-game hitting streak, while Jennings has hit the same over his last seven.
Jennings, however, is 1 for 6 with three strikeouts versus Sale.
Despite Chicago's struggles, second baseman Gordon Beckham has batted .390 with seven RBIs in his last 11 contests.
|Alejandro De Aza||4||.500||2||0||0||1||1||.667||1.167||.500|
|Chicago White Sox|
|July 03, 2013||Paul Konerko||15-Day DL||Strained lower back|
|July 02, 2013||Jesse Crain||Day-to-Day||Right shoulder tightness|
|June 30, 2013||Jesse Crain||15-Day DL||Sprained right shoulder|
|June 15, 2013||Alejandro De Aza||Day-to-Day||Illness|
|June 05, 2013||Jake Peavy||15-Day DL||Fractured rib - out 4-6 weeks|
|June 04, 2013||Jake Peavy||Day-to-Day||Left game - Rib pain|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|June 28, 2013||Evan Longoria||Day-to-Day||Plantar fasciitis, left foot|
|June 16, 2013||Alex Cobb||15-Day DL||Concussion|
|June 05, 2013||Kelly Johnson||Day-to-Day||Back stiffness|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
|May 16, 2013||David Price||15-Day DL||Left triceps strain|
|May 08, 2013||Brandon Gomes||15-Day DL||Strained right lat|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Despite being snubbed when All-Star rosters were announced, Matt Moore pitched like one again.
Moore won his fourth consecutive start to help the Rays beat All-Star selection Chris Sale and the Chicago White Sox 3-0 on Saturday night.
"No," said Moore when asked if being left off the AL squad bothered him. "Those decisions, we're all subject to people's opinions and things like that."
Moore (12-3), who could still become an All-Star as an injury replacement, gave up five hits, two walks and struck out six over 6 1-3 innings.
"He certainly pitched like an All-Star," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "There's still an opportunity, possibly. We'll see how it all shakes out the next couple days."
The Rays have won seven of eight, improving to a season-best eight games (48-40) over .500. Fernando Rodney , the third Tampa Bay reliever, pitched the ninth for his 19th save - completing the six-hitter.
"We're playing great right now," Moore said. "On my night, it's just keep the ball rolling."
Sale (5-8) allowed three runs, six hits, one walk and had nine strikeouts in seven innings for the White Sox, who have lost eight of 10. The left-hander, despite giving up just 20 runs - 17 earned - over 49 1-3 innings, is 0-6 in his past seven starts.
"I think it would be frustrating for anybody," Sale said. "I think everybody here is frustrated, not just me. You've just got to keep trugging along. When you start getting down on yourself, that's when things get even worse than they are."
Sale and Moore hooked up in a pitchers' duel on May 28th of last year at Tropicana Field, a 2-1 White Sox victory in which the pair combined for 25 strikeouts (Sale 15, Moore 10).
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead in the second when Luke Scott got the first extra-base hit this season by a left-handed hitter off Sale, an RBI double, and Desmond Jennings had a run-scoring grounder.
"You can't expect him to blank everybody," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's pitching fine, competing and doing all the things you want him to do. It's just when you don't get any runs, it seems like it's wasted."
Wil Myers opened the sixth with an infield single, a liner that went off Sale's glove, and advanced two bases to third on a nifty baserunning play when Jose Lobaton hit a one-out grounder that third baseman Conor Gillaspie had to move toward second to field. The Rays rookie then scored to make it 3-0 on a single by Sam Fuld .
Moore got a key defensive play from third baseman Evan Longoria , who caught Alex Rios ' liner with two on and no outs in the third and dove to the bag to double up Alejandro De Aza. The threat ended when Adam Dunn flew out.
On "Turn Back the Clock Night," the Rays, an expansion team in 1998, wore hypothetical uniforms from 1979, while the White Sox used 1972 replica home uniforms.
"It definitely reeks of the mid-1970's, and I like that," Maddon said. "I think they're very tasty."
Injured White Sox reliever Jesse Crain was also picked to the AL All-Star team with Sale before the game. Tampa Bay's lone selection was infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist .
NOTES: Moore has not allowed a run in his past 17 1-3 innings. ... Tampa Bay LHP David Price (2-4) will make his second start Sunday since returning from a strained left triceps. The 2012 AL Cy Young Award winner, who allowed three hits over seven innings in an 8-0 win over Houston Tuesday, will face Chicago LHP John Danks (2-5). ... White Sox RHP Jake Peavy , on the DL since June 6 with a broken left rib, is scheduled to pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday. ... Maddon decided to keep left-handed hitting 1B James Loney , who has a career-high 16-game hitting streak, out of the lineup against Sale. Loney entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth, but didn't bat.. ... Chicago OF Dewayne Wise (strained right oblique) is set to start a minor league rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte.