Published July 07, 2013
| Sports Network
St. Petersburg, FL – Matt Moore struck out six over 6 1/3 stellar frames to outduel Chicago's Chris Sale as the Tampa Bay Rays blanked the White Sox, 3-0, in the middle test of a three-game set at Tropicana Field.
The matchup between the two up-and-coming southpaws was a rematch of a May 28, 2012 contest that featured 25 combined strikeouts between the two hurlers, with Sale then getting the better of Moore in a 2-1 Chicago victory.
Moore (12-3) exacted a bit of revenge Saturday, scattering five hits and two walks to notch his fourth straight victory and become the third pitcher to win at least 12 games in the majors this season.
"I really believe the last three starts he's gotten better," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Moore. "As the game is in progress, he keeps getting better and I saw that again tonight."
Luke Scott, Sam Fuld and Desmond Jennings each knocked in a run for the Rays, who have won three straight and seven of their last eight games.
Sale (5-8) pitched admirably in defeat, striking out nine and yielding three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and a walk over seven frames. The loss extended his career-high losing skid to six games.
"He pitched well, once again we don't give him any runs," Chicago designated hitter Jeff Keppinger said. "It has to be tough on his mental aspect of the game. It seems like whenever he's on the mound, we don't put up any offense."
Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez registered two hits apiece for the White Sox, who mustered just six hits as a team in falling for the eighth time in 10 games.
Tampa Bay got to Sale in the second, as Yunel Escobar smacked a leadoff single before Jose Lobaton reached first on third baseman Conor Gillaspie's fielding error.
Scott quickly capitalized on the miscue, lacing an RBI double to right to get the Rays on the board. After Fuld fanned, Jennings grounded out to third to allow Lobaton to race home for a 2-0 lead.
The Rays added to the margin in the sixth, which started with Wil Myers reaching on an infield single. He raced all the way to third on Lobaton's groundout to third before Scott was hit by a pitch to leave men on the corners with two outs.
Fuld followed with a base hit to center to score Myers for a 3-0 lead.
Chicago finally chased Moore from the contest in the seventh, when Beckham stroked a one-out single to end the left-hander's outing.
Jake McGee took over on the mound and needed just one pitch to escape the frame, as Tyler Flowers grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Joel Peralta pitched a scoreless eighth and Fernando Rodney retired the White Sox in order in the ninth to secure his 19th save of the season.
Moore is tied with Washington's Jordan Zimmermann with 12 wins, one behind Detroit's Max Scherzer for tops in the majors ... Scott has 30 RBI this season, making him the eighth Tampa Bay player with as many this season, the most in the majors ... Myers has hit safely in 16 of his 19 career games since his June 18 callup ... Sale and reliever Jesse Crain were named to the AL All- Star team Saturday ... Tampa Bay second baseman Ben Zobrist was also named as a reserve for the All-Star Game.