video thumbnail

Moore talks about going deep into games for Rays

Off to the winningest start in the Majors this season and the best for anyone his age in years, Matt Moore doesn't have to be told that he's undefeated deep into May.

At 7-0 with a 2.44 ERA, the Rays left-hander will put his spotless record back on the line Sunday when he meets the Orioles and Chris Tillman, who has been the best part of a beleaguered Baltimore rotation.

As the Rays go for a road sweep, Moore knows his personal streak exists, but it's not his focus.

"I try not to pay too much attention to it anyway. I think it's great how well we're playing on the days I'm pitching. . . . I know I'm 7-0," Moore said, adding, "It's pretty hard at this point to not know what's going on."

At 23, Moore is the youngest starter to begin a season 7-0 since Jered Weaver of the Angels went 9-0 in 2006, also at 23. He's the first lefty of any age to start 7-0 since Dontrelle Willis in '05, and he could become the first to go 8-0 since Jimmy Key did so for the Orioles in 1997. He has an eight-game streak dating back to last season -- already tied with David Price for the longest in franchise history.

And if that's not enough star power, an 8-0 start for Moore would be the best by a player so young since Babe Ruth did it in 1917.

The Orioles, meanwhile, are looking to Tillman to right the rotation ship as best he can. The Orioles have had their starter go beyond five innings only once in the last seven games, and they are 3-4 over that stretch. They've gotten only one quality start in their last eight games.

That start came from Tillman, who is on a run of five consecutive quality starts. The last one came at home against the Padres, a victory in which he allowed one earned run over seven innings of work.

Tillman is 1-4 with a 5.06 ERA in eight career starts against Tampa Bay, and he is 1-2 with a 6.31 ERA in five outings vs. the Rays at Camden Yards.

Moore, meanwhile, is 3-2 with a 2.60 ERA in six appearances against the Orioles, five of them starts and the other in his Major League debut. Heading into this one, the undefeated lefty wants to keep it simple.

"I want to use as few pitches as possible in the first couple of innings," Moore said. "That's a mindset I've had going into games in the past. But moreso than anything, I'm just really trying to focus on going deep into the games."

Rays: Offense keeps on rolling
The Tampa Bay offense racked up another day of double-digit hits and big numbers on the scoreboard Saturday, continuing a month-long trend of dominance.

In their last 29 games starting April 17, the Rays lead the Majors with 167 runs scored while posting a .286 batting average. They had a pair of homers Saturday to give them 43 since April 15, second in the Majors only to the Rangers since April 15.

Orioles: No relief for Johnson again
After going for 35 consecutive successful save opportunities dating back to last season, Jim Johnson now has two blown saves in a row after Saturday's rough outing.

Johnson gave up five earned runs while recording just one out as the Rays rallied for victory after taking his first blown save of the season Tuesday.

Worth noting
• The Orioles will host the Yankees for a three-game set after Sunday's finale, starting up with New York on Monday as a stretch of 17 games without an off-day continues. The Rays will travel to Toronto for three games against the Jays, starting Monday.

• The Rays have won three consecutive road games for the first time this season, and they have clinched their second consecutive road series.

• Through the first eight games of the season series, each team has won four and the two teams have combined for 106 runs. Comments