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Tuesday, Jun 19, 2018
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Tigers chase Moore, rout Rays

DETROIT - It wasn't the lack of work over the past 10 days that got to Matt Moore on Tuesday. It wasn't Miguel Cabrera or the potent Detroit Tigers offense, either.

It was Matt Moore.

The Tampa Bay Rays left-hander, looking to become the American League's first nine-game winner, had his worst outing of the season and took his first loss as the Tigers rolled to a 10-1 victory at Comerica Park.

Moore pitched into the third inning but left before recording an out.

He matched his season high with six walks, allowed seven hits and put his team in a 6-1 hole from which they couldn't escape, not with the way Detroit right-hander Anibal Sanchez was throwing.

When asked if he watched the video of himself after his brief outing to determine what went wrong, Moore said, "That was a pretty pathetic thing to watch. I'm going to treat (it) like it didn't happen and move on. Six walks, you can't defend walks.

"It's inexcusable."

Cabrera, who leads the American League in batting and RBI and is second in home runs, didn't do as much damage as he could, although he did have a pair of singles - one off Moore in the first inning - and drew a walk.

Price Fielder, batting behind Cabrera, had four RBIs, the last of which came on an eighth-inning home run off Jamey Wright.

The game got away from Moore in the second inning when he walked three, allowed two hits and gave up four runs.

"Somewhere there in the second inning I lost that feel for my release point," Moore said. "I was trying a couple of different things that would at least let me throw it in there belt high, but it was kind of one of those things."

A sign of things to come popped up in the first inning when Moore retired the first two batters he faced but then allowed a pair of singles to Cabrera and Fielder.

Fielder's hit came on the ninth pitch of the at-bat. While Moore got Victor Martinez to fly out to left field to end the inning, he headed to the dugout having thrown 33 pitches.

"You look at the quality of the swings, they weren't just beating him up," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "There were a lot of self-inflicted wounds there with the command and the walks."

Moore had trouble finishing at-bats. Five of the seven hits he allowed came with two strikes. Blame some of that on Moore's wildness.

"I wasn't throwing a lot close (to the strike zone) so it was 'wait until he throws a strike,' " Moore said of the Tigers' approach. "If I was doing that they were gearing up for a hit."

Jhonny Peralta doubled to open the third inning and Moore walked the next two batters to load the bases. Avisail Garcia singled home one run.

Moore then walked Omar Infante to force in another run, his sixth and final walk of the night. It was also his last batter.

Maddon called for Alex Torres, who put his 8 1/3 inning scoreless streak on the line.

It was a tough spot for Torres, who not only had to enter the game with the bases full, but had to face Torii Hunter, Cabrera and Fielder.

Torres mowed them down, however, getting Hunter to force a runner at the plate before striking out Cabrera and Fielder. Torres fell behind Cabrera 3-0 before throwing three straight strikes. He limited the damage as the Tigers lead stayed at 6-1.

"Pretty impressive," Maddon said. "Bases loaded, two, three, four coming up - that's not bad."

Torres said he wasn't focused on the bases being loaded. He was trying to get a ground ball so the infield could turn a double play.

He said he was also trying to throw strikes, though falling behind Cabrera 3-0 wasn't part of his plan.

"I was like, 'OK, let's go,'" He said. "Throw the first pitch for a strike to put it a 3-1 count and after that come with my changeup and he swing the bat and missed. I think that's a huge out right there."

Torres pitched another scoreless inning to extend his streak to 10 1/3 in four outings. He's allowed just one hit and struck out 12.

Maddon pulled Torres after two innings because he wanted to save his arm in case he's needed tonight when Alex Cobb faces to Tigers on 10 days rest.

Maddon has been nothing but impressed with Torres this season. He's already saved the bullpen by turning in a pair of four-inning scoreless outings. Maddon's confidence in Torres only grew after Tuesday's outing.

"Came in nice and calmly. Took the baseball. Had a good look in his eye. There was no nervousness, the strike-throwing with all of his pitches," Maddon said. "He looked very good. He was very good."

It was only the second time in 12 starts this season the Rays lost a game started by Moore.

"Record-wise, speaking to my record, there were a lot of games the team won for me and this is one of those particular games I lost for us," Moore said.

Moore said his lack of work wasn't an issue. His scheduled start last week against the Marlins was pushed back one day to Friday, and that start ended after one inning when the rains game in Cleveland.

As a result, Moore pitched one inning and threw just 11 pitches in the last 10 days.

"It had to happen sooner or later," Maddon said of a bad night for Moore. "That was a clunker in general. That was no fun, a no-fun game right there. We weren't in it pretty much except for the 1-0 lead. Starting pitchers who are really good like him, they're going to have, I don't know, three, four games like that on an annual basis.

"It was our turn (Tuesday) and we'll comeback (tonight) and be ready to play."
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