Wed, Jul 24, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Rays blank Red Sox to close in on AL East lead

RAPID ASCENT:The Tampa Bay Rays have lost just twice since June 28 and have improved from fourth place to move within half a game of top spot in the East

AP, BOSTON

Taiwanese relief pitcher Lee Chen-chang of the Cleveland Indians pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington, on Monday.

Photo: AFP

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Matt Moore pitched a two-hitter for his first career shutout as the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Boston Red Sox 3-0 on Monday night to move within a half-game of first place in the American League East.

Ben Zobrist had three hits and James Loney drove in two runs for the Rays, who earned their sixth consecutive victory and won for the 18th time in 20 games.

In his first start since pitching a scoreless fifth inning in the All-Star game, Moore (14-3) gave up Mike Napoli’s single in the second and David Ortiz’s base-hit in the seventh. Ortiz took second on a wild pitch — the only baserunner to get past first.

Moore walked one batter, struck out four and needed just 109 pitches to win his sixth consecutive start.

The Rays have lost just twice since June 28, improving from fourth place and seven games out to within one win of the East Division lead.

Brandon Workman (0-1) made his second career start, giving up two runs on seven hits and two walks, striking out four in six innings.

MARINERS 2, INDIANS 1

In Seattle, Kendrys Morales and Mike Zunino each homered, while Aaron Harang pitched seven strong innings as Seattle beat Cleveland to win their season-high seventh straight victory.

Morales led off the fourth inning with a homer and Zunino did the same in the fifth off Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez, helping Seattle increase their league-leading total to 29 homers this month.

The seven-game streak is the longest for Seattle since winning eight straight in August last year.

Harang (5-8) gave up a solo homer in the first to Nick Swisher and danced around trouble for his second win in the past three starts. Tom Wilhelmsen survived the ninth for his 22nd save.

RANGERS 3, YANKEES 0

In Arlington, Texas, Yu Darvish allowed two singles over 6-1/3 scoreless innings in his first start in 16 days, combining with three relievers on a three-hitter that carried Texas past New York.

Darvish (9-4), who last pitched on July 6 before going on the disabled list with a right-trapezius strain, struck out four and walked two. He left after allowing consecutive batters to reach in the seventh, having thrown 60 of 90 pitches for strikes.

Ivan Nova (4-3) struck out four, while throwing a season-high 112 pitches over seven innings.

All-Star closer Joe Nathan pitched the ninth for his 31st save in 32 chances to cap the Rangers’ eighth shutout of the season.

TIGERS 7, WHITE SOX 3

In Chicago, Max Scherzer outpitched Chris Sale in a matchup of All-Star starters as Detroit overcame Miguel Cabrera’s injury to beat Chicago.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth inning, Cabrera was replaced at third base by Don Kelly. Last year’s American League Most Valuable Player, who appeared to be holding his left side as he walked off the field, was removed with a sore hip-flexor muscle and was to be evaluated yesterday.

Cabrera began the day leading the American League with a .359 batting average and 96 RBIs.

Scherzer (14-1) went eight innings and allowed four hits, while striking out five.

Sale (6-9) pitched eight innings and gave up four runs — two earned. He yielded seven hits, while striking out 11.

ORIOLES 9, ROYALS 2

In Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy each drove in three runs as Baltimore defeated Kansas City to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.

Davis, who leads the majors with 97 RBIs, drove in a pair of runs with a sixth-inning double and another with a sacrifice fly in the first.

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