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Has Tampa Bay’s Matt Moore made himself too valuable to trade away?

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For a while, Matt Moore was pitching well enough for another team to be interested in him.

These days, Moore is pitching well enough to stay.

Despite trade rumors, Moore pitched well again Monday, allowing the Tampa Bay Rays to win 4-2 over the Los Angeles Angels, 4-2. It was the sixth straight game Moore had pitched six innings or more. It evened his record at 5-5 and was the first time he has won back to back games (with no no-decisions in between) since 2013.

Moore has allowed three runs or fewer in 12 of his last 14 starts.

“I think in the earlier innings I was searching for a little bit of command there, in general, with all my pitches,” Moore said. “I think I could’ve been better before I got myself into some of those situations, like the hit-by-pitch, or walking [Mike] Trout. But I think overall the adjustments in- game and being able to work with the defense there to get out of some of those innings when they were threatening.”

The Rays, winning for only the third time in their last 19 games, got two RBI from first baseman Logan Morrison on a home run and a single. Brad Miller also had two hits, including a home run. Steven Souza had two hits as well.

“Feels good to get a win,” said Rays’ manager Kevin Cash. “Kinda difficult to come by these days, so it’s nice. Matt Moore set the tone; he threw the ball really well. If you go back to Matt’s last three or four ballgames, he’s just been outstanding. You take away one inning in Baltimore that got away from us a little bit, other than that he’s given us every opportunity to keep games within reach and win ballgames. He’s on a really good run; that’s great to see.”

For the Rays, rookie Ryan Garton had his first save.

“Obviously, the back end of the bullpen today, to come into that situation, we’re asking some guys we know aren’t accustomed to doing things like that at the major league level,” Cash said. “Hopefully Ryan Garton’s got a smile ear-to-ear and doesn’t wipe it off all night. Really happy for him.”

In his last appearance, Garton gave up four straight hits as the Rays’ gave up eight runs to blow a 7-2 lead in the ninth.

“I got the opportunity and was super excited that I did my job, and we got a win as a team. Being able to get the win as a team is a huge thing right now. To get this team back on the winning train is nice.”

Jake Odorizzi pitches for the Rays Tuesday against the Angels’ Tim Lincecum.

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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