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Rays demote Matt Moore after he was shellacked by Red Sox

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The Rays have pulled Matt Moore from the rotation.

The only question: What took them so long?

The Rays demoted Moore on Saturday night, just after he struggled again in an 11-7 loss to the Boston Red Sox, a loss that dropped the Rays to three games under .500 for the first time all year. The Rays have won only 11 of their last 34 games.

Wtih the Rays, everyone has fond memories of what Moore used to be. However, after Tommy John surgery last year, it is clear that Moore is no longer that pitcher. He gave up six runs on nine hits in only three innings. He now has six starts since his return to the team, and he has yet to make it to the sixth inning in any of them. In his last four starts, he has given up three earned runs, then four, then five and on Sunday, six.

These days, it seems as if Moore gives his team no chance of winning. It’s like taking a game and throwing it into the street.

At 51-54, and 8 ½ games back, the Rays feel a long way from contention on those days their starting pitching doesn’t give them a chance.

The shame of Moore’s day was that the Rays offense finally had a winnable day with seven runs and 13 hits, totals that would be enough on most days. This time, the Rays fell behind 6-0 but came within one at 7-6. The Red Sox scored the next four, however.

For Tampa Bay, John Jaso had three hits and James Loney, Logan Forsythe and Kevin Kiermaier had two. For the Red Sox, Travis Shaw was four-for-four with two home runs. Xander Bogaerts also had four hits.

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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