Game 88: Matt Moore Dominates as Rays Blank White Sox

By David Hill

Matt Moore may not have been selected to the All-Star Game, but don’t tell the White Sox that he is not deserving. They would likely consider that statement absurd after tonight’s matchup.

Facing off against the White Sox Chris Sale, who was named as a member of the All-Star Game himself, Moore certainly looked the part. Chicago had a prime scoring chance in the top of the second, when former Ray Jeff Keppinger doubled to lead off the inning. After Moore struck out the next two batters, an infield single put runners on first and third. Yet Moore got out of trouble, getting Tyler Flowers to pop out to end the threat.

The Rays offense got rolling in the bottom of the inning. Yunel Escobar led off with a single, and Jose Lobaton reached on an error. That brought up Luke Scott, who had been swinging a hot bat as of late. He delivered with a double to deep right, plating Escobar for the first run of the game. One out later, Desmond Jennings grounded to third to plate Lobaton, and the Rays took a 2-0 lead.

Chicago had their best scoring opportunity of the night in the top of the third. Alejandro De Aza was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, and Moore followed by walking Alexei Ramirez. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third with no outs. Alex Rios followed by hitting a line drive to third, which Evan Longoria snared. He dove back to third to double off De Aza, and Moore got out of the inning by getting Adam Dunn to fly out to left.

That score held up until the sixth. Wil Myers led off with an infield single off Sale’s glove, and with one out, advanced from first to third on a ground out by Lobaton. After Scott was hit by a pitch, Sam Fuld drove in Myers with a base hit to center, giving the Rays a 3-0 lead.

Those three runs were more than enough for Moore, who had settled in and was dominating the White Sox. In his 6.1 innings, he allowed five hits and two walks, striking out six batters. After the third inning, Moore allowed only two hits as he kept Chicago in check. Fernando Rodney worked a perfect ninth to pick up his nineteenth save of the year, as the Rays went on to the 3-0 victory.

Ben Zobrist, the Rays sole All-Star representative, as 2-3 with a stolen base in the win.