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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays haven't won often in the last three weeks, but they've had a surprisingly good chance when Matt Moore is pitching.
Moore (5-5) held the Los Angeles Angels to two runs in 6 2/3 innings, helping the Rays to a 4-2 win Monday afternoon at Tropicana Field. In the last 22 games, Moore is 3-1, and the rest of the Rays are 3-15.
Tampa Bay (34-48) won for just the third time in 19 games, while the Angels (33-50) have now lost 12 of 14 games. The Rays bullpen, which had allowed runs in 17 of the last 18 games, got the final seven outs. Reliever Ryan Garton struck out Mike Trout and got C.J. Cron to pop out foul in the ninth, stranding two runners for his first career save.
The Rays jumped ahead in the sixth off reliever Fernando Salas, with Brad Miller getting a single and scoring from second on an RBI single by Logan Morrison. Up 3-2, Morrison scored on an RBI double down the left-field line from Steven Souza for a 4-2 lead.
Moore got himself into and out of several jams -- in the third, he gave up a two-out double to Yunel Escobar and a single to Mike Trout, but got Albert Pujols to pop out to center to strand two. In the fourth, after tying the game at 1-1, the Angels had runners at second and third with two outs, and Shane Robinson popped out to center. In the fifth, runners at first and third and Johnny Giavotella popped out to right.
Moore left after 6 2/3 innings with his second straight quality start -- he held Boston to three hits in seven shutout innings in earning a win Wednesday. In his last five starts, he has three wins and a 2.43 ERA.
Jefry Marte's solo home run in the sixth tied the game at 2-2, but the Angels had a chance to take the lead, with Jett Bandy getting a double and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt. Robinson hit a hard grounder to third, where Evan Longoria threw home, getting Robinson caught in a 5-2-5-1 rundown. Moore got a comebacker from Escobar to end the inning and strand Robinson at second.
The Rays took early leads on a pair of solo home runs -- Miller hit his 12th in the third inning for a 1-0 lead, only to see Los Angeles tie the game in the fourth on an RBI double by Andrelton Simmons. Morrison hit his ninth home run for a 2-1 lead in the fourth off Angels starter Nick Tropeano, called up before the game to start. Tropeano held the Rays to the two runs on four hits in his five innings, striking out four.