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Rays fall once again despite a stellar pitching performance by Matt Moore

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The Tampa Bay Rays gave up only two runs Saturday.

They surrendered only seven hits. They shut out the Baltimore Orioles after the second inning.

But, yeah, the Rays lost again. Of course they did.

The Rays dropped a 2-1 decision to the Baltimore Orioles, the 19th straight game the Rays have lost to a first-place team. Overall, Tampa Bay has lost 24 of its last 27 games. They have also lost eight straight and 12 of their last 13.

This time, Tampa Bay managed only four hits – two by Steven Souza – in the loss. Matt Moore went 7 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two runs in the loss. Moore has now pitched at least six innings in eight straight starts. He was beaten when he gave up a two-run homer to J.J. Hardy in the second inning.

“Matt was the story today,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “I think it’s fairly obvious, Matt Moore was pretty outstanding again. He gave us every opportunity to win. It stinks when you lose a ballgame on one pitch. That sums up how it’s going for us right now, but you can’t take that away from Matt; he was really good.

“Unfortunately, their guy (Chris Tillman) was really good, too. You saw two pitchers that have had a lot of success, and they get some strikeouts quite a bit. It was low-strikeout tonight. You saw two guys that were efficient in making good pitches.”

Moore felt he pitched well in the defeat.

“I just feel like I’m pitching to my capabilities,” Moore said. “Being able to string together back-to-back innings where we retired three in a row, I think that’s something to hang my hat on most these days, just being able to get some quick innings, keep my pitch count on track.”

“Trying to link it up so everybody’s on the same page, it’s kind of like football where there’s the offensive, defensive side of the foot- ball, there’s special teams, there’s a lot of parts to our team going into this skid. It’s easy to look at things that are going wrong and kind of put your finger on them, but you know we’re trying. It’s something, the guys are getting to the field at the same time, putting the same work in. We’re just waiting for tomorrow to get here.”

The Rays try again today with Jake Odorizzi on the mound against Dylan Bundy.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit garysheltonsports@gmail.com.

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