SEATTLE — Tampa Bay Rays LHP Matt Moore didn’t receive the victory for his efforts during Sunday’s 4-1 win against the Mariners, but his outing was every bit as feel-good as a W.
Moore allowed five hits and a run in 61⁄3 innings. That he threw 103 pitches was a great sign since it was only his second start since missing a month because of a sore elbow.
Moore had good velocity on his fastball, which he used as his primary pitch. That made his change-up and curveball more effective.
He even made an in-game adjustment that allowed him to work deeper into the game after he allowed four hits, including a home run by DH Kendrys Morales, in the first three innings.
“The second or third inning, sometime around there, I think I started to get a little bit more into my windup using my legs,” he said. “I felt my timing was a lot better. The first inning I felt I was using more of my arm, standing up a little bit.”
Manager Joe Maddon called for LHP Jake McGee after Moore allowed a one-out single in the seventh inning.
“It was a tough situation,” Moore said. “Obviously I wanted to get through as many innings as I could. To see Joe come out and get me, I felt good, I absolutely wanted to be out there. But whatever they saw, I think they liked the matchup better with McGee. He came in and did his job.”
Good day for Rodney
Closer Fernando Rodney pitched a perfect ninth inning, ending it in style with a 100-mph fastball past pinch-hitter Nick Franklin for his 33rd save of the season. That was his second perfect outing during the road trip and sixth in his past seven appearances.
Maddon said Rodney had better velocity and better command of his fastball from the start of Sunday’s outing.
“He’s really pounding the zone a lot better,” Maddon said. “He’s starting to feel really good about himself.”
About that ninth inning
The Rays had two singles, two doubles and walked twice in the ninth inning but scored only one run.
PH Wil Myers, who walked, was caught stealing, and PH Chris Gimenez, who doubled, was thrown out at the plate trying to score on a single by Ben Zobrist.
Gimenez said C Henry Blanco did tag him on his back before he touched the plate.
After the win, Maddon said he could laugh about getting only one run despite all the base runners.
“Yeah, I can. But again, it just typifies this entire West Coast thing,” he said. “I know the rotation of the earth is the same. The sunrise and the sunset, I get all that. But we just have not played normally Rays baseball out here.”
Rest for Escobar
SS Yunel Escobar was not in Sunday’s lineup, getting some time off after playing in 38 straight games. He did enter the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning and remained in the game.
“I’ve been looking at it for a couple of days,” Maddon said. “This was almost a perfect moment to do it with this pitcher. This had been planned for a couple of days. ... I just don’t want him to wear down completely by the end of the season.”
Red Sox matchups
The Red Sox announced their rotation for this week’s series at Tropicana Field. The matchups are: LHP David Price vs. RHP Clay Buchholz on Tuesday; RHP Alex Cobb vs. RHP Ryan Dempster on Wednesday; and RHP Jeremy Hellickson vs. RHP Jake Peavy on Thursday.
RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) said his shoulder felt fine Sunday, one day after throwing his first bullpen in more than two months. “It felt better than going into (Saturday’s bullpen) so that’s a good sign,” he said. Crain is scheduled to throw another bullpen Tuesday. ... The Rays have two hits and have hit into seven double plays during their past 19 at-bats with the bases loaded. ... The win was the Rays’ fifth this season when trailing after the seventh inning.