Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tampa Bay Draws to Within 1/2 Game with Matt Moore's 2-Hit Shutout over Boston; A.J. Ellis Leads Dodgers to First Place in NL West

Players of the Day for Monday, July 22, 2013

American League

Moore: 2-hit shutout
If having grace under pressure is key to the making of a champion, the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays will be getting a serious opportunity to show what they're made of this week as a four-game series unfolds in Fenway Park.

The Rays showed poise in winning the opening game Monday night, with Matt Moore tying Detroit's Max Scherzer for the most wins in the majors with his 14th victory, a two-hit, complete game, shutout gem in a 3-0 win for the Rays, pulling them to within 1/2 game of the division-leading Red Sox. The Rays have won six straight, nine of their last ten and 16 of their last 18.

Moore (14-3) gave up just two harmless singles - to David Ortiz and Mike Napoli - and issued one walk while striking out four for his first career shutout and complete game. Behind him, teammates played errorless ball and put up single runs in the first, fifth and ninth innings.

Moore threw 84 of 109 pitches for strikes and faced just two more batters than the minimum as the Rays turned a fifth-inning double played after Moore walked Mike Napoli to lead off the inning.

In the seventh, Ortiz became the only Red Sox to reach second base safely after he singled with two down and took the extra bag on a wild pitch by Moore, who then settled down and retired the next seven straight batters to finish the game.

Boston and Tampa Bay will meet for the second of the four-game series, Tuesday, at 7:10 pm EDT.

National League

A.J. Ellis went 4-for-6 with a home run and three singles, driving in five runs to lead the LA Dodgers to a 14-5 mashing of the Blue Jays in Toronto, sending the Dodgers into first place in the NL West as Arizona dropped a 4-2 decision to the Cubs.
Ellis: 4-6, 5RBI

Ellis socked his fifth home run of the season - a two-run shot - in the second inning as the Dodgers plated four, and it was off to the races for the streaking winners of four straight coming out of the All Star break.

The five RBI were a career high for the LA catcher, giving him 32 on the season.

The Dodgers have surged from last place in the division to a 1/2 lead, going 21-5 since June 22nd. They and the Diamondbacks are the only teams with records above .500 in the NL West.

The win was the first in a three-game series that continues Tuesday at 7:07 pm EDT at the Rogers Centre.

Today's Trivia: Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt were two of the finest ever to play third base, both ending their careers with .267 batting averages. Which of them had more hits?

Yesterday's Answer: The career leader in sac flies is Baltimore's Eddie Murray, with 128, one better than long-time teammate, Cal Ripken Jr.

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