Rays’ Moore beats Red Sox for AL-leading 7th win
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore delivers to Boston Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays' Matt Joyce hits a fourth-inning, two-run infield single off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey during a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rays Jose Molina and Yunel Escobar scored on the hit. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz hits a first-inning, three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore during a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury, and Shane Victorino also scored on the hit. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox's David Ortiz looks skyward after crossing home plate following his first-inning, three-run home run off Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore during a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Red Sox's Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia also scored on the hit. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey delivers to Tampa Bay Rays' Desmond Jennings during the first inning a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Tampa Bay Rays' Jose Molina connects for a fourth-inning, two-run double off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey during a baseball game Tuesday, May 14, 2013, in St. Petersburg, Fla. Rays' Luke Scott, and Yunel Escobar scored on the hit. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore pitched six strong innings and beat the Boston Red Sox, 5-3, last night to remain unbeaten and claim a share of the major league lead in victories.
Moore (7-0) yielded a double to Dustin Pedroia and a three-run homer to David Ortiz in the first, then limited the struggling Red Sox to one hit over the next five innings.
The Rays overcame the early deficit with a five-run fifth off John Lackey (1-4). Jose Molina and Matt Joyce each drove in two runs in the inning, helping Tampa Bay extend its winning streak to a season-high six games.
Boston has lost six of seven, including three straight.
Moore allowed three hits, walked two and struck out eight. The 23-year-old left-hander tied Washington’s Jordan Zimmerman for the major league lead in victories, became the first Tampa Bay starter to begin a season 7-0 and tied a club record by winning his eighth straight decision dating to September.
Relievers Jake McGee, Josh Lueke and Joel Peralta got the Rays to the ninth, and closer Fernando Rodney struck out the side to finish the combined three-hitter and earn his seventh save.
Ortiz’s homer was his fifth this season and 27th of his career at Tropicana Field, the most by any opposing player. The designated hitter’s 67 RBI at the Trop are second to Manny Ramirez’s 72.
Moore settled down after the home run to retire 12 in a row until Stephen Drew doubled off the right field wall with one out in the fifth for Boston’s third hit.
Lackey breezed through the first two innings before having to work through a tight spot in third, when Tampa Bay loaded the bases with two outs but did not score. The Red Sox weren’t as fortunate in the fourth, when the Rays turned five singles and Luke Scott’s RBI double into five runs.
Molina’s two-run single made it 3-3, and Boston first baseman Mike Napoli misjudged Joyce’s infield pop fly that dropped for a two-run single that gave Moore a 5-3 lead.
Lackey, making his 299th career start and 300th major league appearance overall, allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1∕ 3 innings. He walked one and struck out three in losing his third straight decision.
Despite not having a hit after the fifth inning, the Red Sox managed to put the potential tying runs on base in the seventh when Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury walked before Shane Victorino lined out to end the threat.
∎ CF Desmond Jennings was back in Tampa Bay’s lineup after sitting out three games with a sore groin.
∎ Boston RHP Andrew Bailey (right biceps strain) threw 25 pitches off a bullpen mound and will face hitters tomorrow. Manager John Farrell said a decision on whether the reliever will go on a short minor league rehab assignment or be activated from the 15-day disabled list will be made after tomorrow’s outing.
∎ Victorino (ribs) said he feels physically fine and was in the starting lineup two days after crashing into the right field wall at Fenway Park.
∎ Boston C David Ross (concussion) will be re-examined in the next couple days.
∎ Rays LHP David Price, who’s been bothered by allergies since spring training, said part of the problem has been chemicals the team uses to wash laundry. In addition to having to deal with a rash on his neck and arms, his allergies have affected his vision at times. He was given some eye drops after undergoing a test for allergies yesterday.