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Rays’ Matt Moore pitches gem, but Matt Andriese sent to bullpen

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Matt Moore kept his place in the Tampa Bay Rays’ pitching rotation.

Matt Andriese did not.

Moore threw his best game of the season, shutting down the Houston Astros on two hits in a 5-0 victory. He overcame a 37-pitch second inning and settled down behind a sharp curveball, giving up only a pair of singles to Jose Altuve.

He struck out 10, tying for his season high. It was his first scoreless start since September of 2015. Moore has had seven perfect innings in his last 14 after none in his previous 31.

“He was very efficient,” said manager Kevin Cash. “We thought it was hopefully a sign of some good things to come. Jim Hickey came over after his bullpen warmup session and said his curveball was tremendous, and that proved to be very right on because the curveball was a big-time weapon for him today. … He was on pace to go five innings and max out because of pitch count alone, but he did a tremendous job of resetting, attacking the strike zone and getting some earlier out.”

Andriese, however, lost his spot in the starting rotation. The Rays moved him to the bullpen so Blake Snell can be promoted and start on Thursday against Seattle. Andriese, asked about the move, said “It’s good for the team. I have some mixed feelings about it, but it will help our team.”

The Rays have now won seven of their last nine games.

The teams were tied in the fifth inning, but the Rays struck for all five of their runs. Mike Maytook had a two-run single and Logan Forsythe, Evan Longoria and Desmond Jennings drove in runs. Logan Morrison had a single and a double and Longoria had two singles.

“The quality of at-bats we pieced together that one inning makes a statement about what we’re trying to accomplish,” Cash said. “We had the walks, we moved the ball, had balls in play. Logan Forsythe hits the ball hard—we know it’s an error—but put the ball in play and see what happens, and a lot of times good things will.”

The Rays are off today, then play Seattle at home. Jake Odorizzi will pitch against the Mariners’ Tijaun Walker.

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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