The Detroit Tigers jumped all over Matt Moore on Tuesday night in Detroit. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore entered Tuesday’s game with the third best ERA (2.18) in the American League among qualified starting pitchers. He would not improve on that mark.
Detroit touched Moore up for six runs — all earned — on seven hits and six walks while only recording six outs against the Tampa Bay starting pitcher.
The Tigers came up with two hits — singles by Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder — in the first inning and couldn’t score, but they made Moore throw a ton of pitches. The big damage was done in the second inning when four runs came around to score. Jhonny Peralta led off with a base hit, and Matt Tuiasosopo plated him with a deep double to right center field. Tui was advanced to third on a Brayan Pena groundout and then, after an Avisail Garcia walk, came around to score on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Omar Infante. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera followed with a walk to load the bases for Fielder who did what he does and knocked a two-run single. Victor Martinez would ground out to end the inning, but the Tigers would already have all the runs they would need to ultimately win the game.
That doesn’t mean they were done scoring, however.
Moore came back out to face the Tigers in the bottom of the third inning, but a sequence of double-walk-walk-single-walk from Peralta-Tuiasosopo-Pena-Garcia-Infante plated two more runs and chased him from the game before he could record another out and with Detroit leading by a 6-1 score.
Detroit would add four more runs to their total against various Tampa relievers over the rest of the game — solo homers by Infante and Fielder, a sacrifice fly by Fielder, and an RBI hit by defensive replacement extraordinaire Don Kelly — to extend their advantage to the eventual 10-1 final margin.
Given the final score of the game, it’s funny to remember that it was Tampa Bay that jumped out to a 1-0 lead. Evan Longoria led off the second inning with a triple off of Anibal Sanchez and later scored on a sacrifice fly. That was all the offense the Rays could muster against Anibal Sanchez who was his usual brilliant self.
Sanchez threw seven dominant innings, allowing just four hits and one walk to go with his nine strikeouts, and kept the Rays from mounting any sort of serious threat against him. He lowered his ERA down to 2.65 — a number that’s more than supported by his 1.78 FIP and 2.48 xFIP — with the night’s effort.