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Tampa Bay Rays News and Links: Moore Impresses, Dickerson Leaves Early

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Matt Moore was excellent after a shaky first inning as the Rays held on for a 2-1 victory.

Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

In the top of the first, viewers were unsure of which Matt Moore we'd be seeing yesterday as he was struggling to hit his spots and gave up a couple of singles. However, he settled down, got a double play ball and then struck out Gary Sanchez to end the top half of the inning.

Moore then easily cruised through the rest of his outing, having sharp command and excellent movement from every pitch he threw. His day was done after 49 pitches -- 32 of them strikes -- as he worked two outs into the fourth, allowing just the two first innings hits while he struck out three and walked zero.

The Rays bullpen was just as excellent as Jhan Marinez, Ryan Webb, Dana Eveland, Xavier Cedeno, and Alex Colome all had scoreless outings, with Cedeno giving up the lone hit of any of them. Brad Boxberger was the only Rays pitcher to have any trouble as he hit the first batter he faced with his very first pitch. The Yankees were able to bring him around to score, thanks to some small ball as the runner stole a base, advanced and then scored on two separate ground outs. Boxberger then allowed a double to Chris Parmalee before getting a fly out to end the inning.

That run came in the seventh, meanwhile, the Rays had put up two of their own in the fifth as Rene Rivera (who was 2-4 on the day) and Curt Casali both singles, while Logan Forsythe popped out to foul territory and Evan Longoria struck out-- really feels like it should have been vice versa. Corey Dickerson then came up, but was hit by a pitch that ran up and in, knicking off his forearm and he dropped in obvious pain.

However, it doesn't seem too serious and he left the game just as a precautionary measure and is expected to be the DH in one of the games later today. After Dickerson was hit, Johnny Field stepped up and absolutely drilled one that finally found a gap, scoring both Casali and Rivera, leading to the Rays eventual 2-1 victory.

Kevin Cash and Matt Moore audio

Links!

- From Richard Justice, six reasons why the Rays can win the AL East this season.

- Taylor Motter has been highly impressive this spring in every facet of the game, and he's easily caught the attention of Kevin Cash.

- The Cardinals recently lost their starting short stop for the next three months and are having to search for a replacement. The Rays may be a fit, but so far they're interested in Mets short stop, Ruben Tejada.

- Topkin has a full write up on new Rays slugger, Corey Dickerson, in which the former Rockies star states that hitting is close to an obsession for him.

- Topkin also takes a look at the latest involving the numerous position battles happening for the Rays this spring.

- Neil Solondz continues his spring long series of 'Getting to Know' the Rays players in camp with Neil Wagner, who is returning from Tommy John Surgery