Matt Moore Struggles As Rays Lose To A's 9-5 To Drop Series

And then Matt Moore Happened.

Matt Moore was supposed to be a difference maker in the Rays rotation in 2012. With Matt Moore joining the rotation most fans felt safe to deal James Shields. He was supposed to be a rookie of the year candidate. We have spent a lot of time focusing on Jeff Niemann and his struggles and defining him as the weak link in the Rays rotation but maybe it's time we start to begin to take a look at Matt Moore with the same microscope and find out what's going on with him?

The A's entered the game last in the majors in batting average (.211), on-base percentage (.281), slugging percentage (.331), and hitting with runners in scoring position (.189) but found a way to batter Matt Moore (1-2, 5.71) on their way to a 9-5 victory on Sunday. On a day when the bullpen was spent and the Rays needed a quality start Moore was only able to give them 4.2 innings (105 pitches/63 for strikes). He gave up a career high 8 runs all earned on 7 hits walking three while striking out four hit two batters and uncorked a wild pitch.

The Rays offense jumped out to a 4-0 lead as they took advantage of the early control problems of A's starter Tommy Milone who loaded the bases by walking the first three Rays he faced. Jeff Keppinger hit a sacrifice fly to put the Rays up 1-0 and after Milone hit Luke Scott to reload the bases Sean Rodriguez delivered an RBI single and Matt Joyce knocked in 2 more to give the Rays an early 4-0 advantage.

Matt Moore was cruising along with the 4-0 lead into the 3rd inning when he lost his way. With 2-out an a man on first Moore walked Josh Reddick then gave up an RBI single to Yoenis Cespedes and Jonny Gomes before Brandon Inge tagged a 3-run homer to put the A's on top 5-4. The A's increased their lead to 8-4 on a 2-our RBI off the bat of Jonny Gomes which was followed by an RBI double on a very catchable ball off the bat of Daric Barton.

The A's had scored 8 unanswered runs until B.J. Upton broke that string by hitting a home run in the bottom of the 5th to cut the A's lead to 8-5.

The A"s got the run back and pushed the lead to 9-5 in the 7th inning off Wade Davis. Davis walked Josh Reddick to lead off the inning which was followed by a single off the bat of Yoenis Cespedes. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch and Reddick came home on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Brandon Inge.

The Rays were unable to score again off the A's bullpen and dropped the game 9-5.The Rays are off tomorrow and will evaluate the health of Desmond Jennings who left the game with left knee soreness before departing on a 3-city 8 game road trip through New York (3), Baltimore (3), and Toronto (2).

Interesting Notes:

  • The Rays lost their first home series since dropping 3 out of 4 to the Detroit Tigers from August 22 - August 25, 2011.
  • The Rays lost their first home game when scoring 5 or more runs since losing to the Boston Red Sox 9-5 on July 16, 2011.
  • The last time the Rays lost a game to a team not named the Boston Red Sox when scoring 5 or more runs was on July 25, 2011 against the Oakland A's in Oakland.
  • Matt Joyce had 3 hits today off left handed pitching.
  • B.J. Upton was 1-2 with a HR and 3 walks on the day.

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