Lefthander Matt Moore pitched a complete game 2-hit shutout and James Loney had two RBI as the sizzling hot Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Red Sox 3-0 in the opener of a crucial four game series at Fenway Park between the AL East’s top two teams. With the win, the Rays cut the Sox lead in the division to a half game.
The Red Sox and Rays are two of the top offensive teams in baseball so, of course, a pitcher’s duel broke out between Moore and Sox rookie Brandon Workman.
Making his second career major league start, Workman got the call to open the series on the mound for Boston. And barring a trade, he suddenly has an opportunity to make an impact as a starter as Clay Buchholz may not be ready to pitch until mid-August following his peace of mind visit today to Dr. James Andrews. Workman now has to come up big to keep the Sox afloat in the five hole in the rotation.
He got off to a sluggish start with 51 pitches in the first two innings and base runners all over the place. But with the aid of a first inning pickoff of Desmond Jennings, who singled to lead off the game, and his ability to work around trouble, Workman only allowed one run in those first two innings on a Loney sacrifice fly in the first.
After that Workman settled down and was excellent the rest of the way allowing only one more run on a Loney RBI single in the fifth inning as he left after six trailing only 2-0.
But that would be more than enough runs for the Rays on this night.
Moore was immense throughout this game, particularly the first five innings, allowing only Mike Napoli to reach base on a single in the second and then a walk in the fifth but nothing else. David Ortiz had the only other Boston hit as he singled in the seventh.