ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said Matt Moore showed some growth in his wild outing. More importantly, it ended in a Rays victory.
Moore won despite control issues, Carlos Pena homered and the Rays beat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Moore (6-6) allowed two runs and three hits, but walked five in five-plus innings. The rookie left-hander was coming off a five-walk — in 4 2-3 innings — loss at Cleveland on July 7.
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“Matty was not really sharp with his fastball command,” Maddon said. “Breaking ball was kind of a moot point, it was pretty much getting outs with his fastball when he could.”
Pena hit a two-run homer and Luke Scott had an RBI triple off Josh Tomlin (5-6) as the Rays took a 3-0 first-inning lead.
Tomlin gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings.
“It was tough putting guys in a hole like that,” Tomlin said. “I’ve got to do a better job of limiting the damage, especially the first inning.”
Moore was pulled after giving up a leadoff walk in the sixth to Carlos Santana. Wade Davis entered and got three quick outs, including Shelley Duncan’s double play.
“I wasn’t going the distance I needed to go tonight, but pitching out of jams like that does take a lot out (of you),” Moore said.
Davis and Joel Peralta each threw 1 1-3 hitless innings. Burke Badenhop got an out before Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his 27th save and completed the four-hitter.
Rodney gave up a two-out single to Casey Kotchman, but then got a fly to right from pinch-hitter Travis Hafner on the first pitch.
Asdrubal Cabrera, mired in a 1-for-26 slide, opened the fourth with single for the Indians’ first hit. After Moore issued consecutive walks to Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley, Jose Lopez cut the deficit to 3-1 on a sacrifice fly.
The Rays starter avoided further damage by striking out Santana and getting a flyball from Duncan.
“We couldn’t do much offensively,” Indians manager Manny Acta said. “I thought we had enough traffic out there. Just couldn’t execute. Just couldn’t get that hit to get us over the hump.”
Kipnis made it 3-2 on a run-scoring single in the fifth. Later in the inning Lopez hit a high fly to left after Cleveland had loaded the bases with two outs.
“Lopez just missed that ball,” Maddon said. “I’m not going to deny that. He almost crushed that ball. But (Moore) did pitch through it. When you’re faced with that kind of situation, you have to work through it and I thought he held his own pretty well right there.”
Desmond Jennings stole second on a close play with two outs in the sixth and then scored to make it 4-2 on Jose Lobaton’s RBI single.
It was just the third career stolen base off Tomlin, and the first since Kansas City had a double steal on Sept. 19, 2010.
“The guy was out at second base, but what are you going to do?” Acta said. “You can’t blame it on the umpire. I didn’t find anything tricky about the play. Throw beat the guy, clean tag, out. He didn’t see it that way. (Said) that the guy got the hand in there.”
NOTES: Santana has hit on the right triceps by a Rodney fastball, but was OK. … Moore threw 90 pitches, two-thirds after the third inning. … Tampa Bay activated OF Matt Joyce from the 15-day disabled list and optioned INF Will Rhymes to Triple-A Durham. Joyce, who went 0 for 4, missed 23 games because of a left oblique strain. … Cleveland RHP Zach McAllister was fine one day after being hit on the top of the right forearm by a batted ball. “No issues,” Acta said. … Rays OF Sam Fuld, sidelined all season after right wrist surgery, could join the team soon from a minor league rehab assignment.