Moore can't get helping hand in five-run inning
Myers' miscue, passed ball in fourth give Red Sox extra outs in Game 1 loss
BOSTON -- Matt Moore wouldn't blame the Rays' uncharacteristically and inexplicably poor defense for what happened in a five-run fourth inning. But manager Joe Maddon made it perfectly clear afterward that Moore pitched well enough -- he just shouldn't have had to get six outs in one inning.
Moore held the Red Sox without a hit for three innings in the Rays' 12-2 loss to the Red Sox on Friday in Game 1 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park. But he ran into trouble in the fourth on a few well-hit balls and some major defensive miscues, ultimately giving up eight runs (seven earned) on eight hits and two walks as he threw 106 pitches over 4 1/3 innings.
Game 2 is set for Saturday at 5:30 p.m. ET on TBS.
"I thought he was fine. He got six outs in that inning. Six legitimate outs he had to get through that inning," Maddon said. "He was throwing the ball well. There was no -- he gave up a couple of fly balls that hit the wall, and that was about it. I never saw him as being in trouble. ... He had really good stuff tonight. He could have pitched really deep in that game if we had done better in that inning, just playing normal defense."
Dustin Pedroia led off with a single. Then, David Ortiz launched a high fly ball to deep right field, and Wil Myers seemed to be under it, in position to record the first out. Instead, Myers moved away -- thinking center fielder Desmond Jennings would grab it -- and the ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double.
Even then, Moore bounced back well by inducing Mike Napoli's weak popup to Ben Zobrist.
Two outs, but only one on the board. And the Red Sox took advantage.
"There's going to be things that happen throughout the course of the game that don't particularly go your way, and obviously that one didn't," Moore said. "I have to be better than five runs after that. Regardless of no outs or two outs, I have to be better in that inning than five runs, regardless."
Jonny Gomes laced a double off the Green Monster to drive home two, tying the game. Moore then struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia -- which would've been the third out without Myers' mistake -- before Stephen Drew beat out an infield single dropped right between Moore and first baseman James Loney. Gomes hustled to score from second base and put the Red Sox up, 3-2.
"That was a big mistake on my part," Moore said.
But the Red Sox didn't let up, and the Rays let them keep pounding away. Will Middlebrooks doubled off the left-field wall to score Drew, then Jacoby Ellsbury struck out before reaching on a passed ball that skipped past catcher Jose Lobaton -- another out turned into another baserunner.
"I've got no excuse. I've got to catch that ball," Lobaton said. "That was my fault."
Shane Victorino drove in another run with a single to right, then Moore finally ended the inning on Pedroia's groundout to second base.
"Regardless of what the defense did, there's a lot of base hits and a lot of doubles off the wall. Those are things that I can speak about right now," Moore said. "You speak about our great defense. That's what they are. We can't start to say that's a question. That's not a question."
In the end, however, the Rays' defense cost them in Game 1 and wasted a mostly solid start from Moore, even if he took the blame on himself and let Maddon point out all the extra outs Moore had to get.
"We just kind of messed it up in that inning. But mistakes will kill you," Maddon said. "We're normally not the team that makes those kind of mistakes. We did tonight."