It just wasn’t his night. Starting his 12th game of the season for the Tampa Bay Rays, Matt Moore struggled with his command early and often against the Detroit Tigers. The lack of command dealt Moore an exit in the bottom of the third inning. Moore’s previous start, against the Cleveland Indians, was shortened to one inning by a rain delay.
Moore didn’t allow any damage in the first inning, but the Tigers hitters showed they were ready for the battle. They forced Moore to throw 30 pitches in the inning.
Trouble was looming in the second inning, as Moore threw 34 pitches. A leadoff single by Jhonny Peralta led to a run as he scored on a double by Matt Tuiasosopo. After a groundout, Moore threw four straight balls, putting Avisail Garcia on the bases via walk. Following a sacrifice fly by Omar Infante, Moore led Torii Hunter to a 10 pitch at bat, ending in a walk. The Rays hoped that after a mound visit from pitching Coach Jim Hickey that Moore would settle down, but that was far from the case. The batter after the visit, Miguel Cabrera, walked on four straight pitches. The damage ended after Prince Fielder drove in two runs with a single to centerfield.
Having already thrown 64 pitches on the evening, Moore’s night became a lot worse in the third inning. After giving up a leadoff double, two consecutive walks, a single and a run scoring walk on 22 pitches, Rays Manager Joe Maddon pulled Moore from the game without recording an out in the third inning. The score at the point of Moore’s exit was 6-0, with all runs charged to Moore.
This was by far his worst start of the season. His previous worst start of the season came on May 3 in Denver, CO against the Colorado Rockies, where he allowed four runs in only five innings of work on his way to a no-decision.
The Rays went on to lose 10-1 to the Tigers, and look forward to redeeming themselves tomorrow against Doug Fister.