Matt Moore became the first Tampa Bay pitcher to win five games in April as the Rays snapped a two-game losing streak with a 10-4 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Saturday night.
The left-hander joined Boston's Clay Buchholz as the only five-game winners this month. He allowed just three hits, one earned run and matched a season high nine strikeouts in six innings of work.
Moore's 1.13 ERA is second-lowest in the majors behind St. Louis right-hander Jake Westbrook (0.98).
Tampa Bay, now 3-9 on the road, pounded out 19 hits -- the most since June 26, 2011.
Kelly Johnson matched a career-high with four hits while driving home two runs. Evan Longoria also matched a career-best for hits, going 4-for-6 with two runs scored.
The 19 hits and 10 runs allowed were season-high against the White Sox, who saw a three-game winning streak.
For the second straight night the Rays jumped out to an early lead. Rays shortstop Ben Zobrist broke out of a 0-for-9 series slump with a two-run first inning home run. Zobrist took White Sox starter Gavin Floyd's 0-1 pitch and drove it to right to score Matt Joyce with one out for a 2-0 lead.
The White Sox threatened in the bottom of the inning when leadoff batter Alejandro De Aza walked, stole second and reached third on an error. But Moore promptly struck out the next three batters to preserve a shutout.
Moore also struck out the side in the second and had two more in the fourth.
Floyd (0-4) left the game with two outs in the third with a flexor muscle strain in his right elbow. He threw just 47 pitches, gave up two hits and two earned runs.
Hector Santiago entered in early relief and was greeted by Longoria's double. He then scored on James Loney's single to left for a 3-0 lead.
White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn broke the shutout with two outs in the fourth with his second home run in three games to trim Tampa Bay's lead to 3-1.
Johnson's two-out fifth inning single brought Longoria home for the second time and opened a 4-1 lead.
Leadoff batter Desmond Jennings added a solo home run in the sixth for a 5-1 Tampa Bay lead. In the seventh, Jose Lobaton singled off reliever Donnie Veal and brought home Johnson, who had tripled with one out.
Lobaton later scored on Veal's wild pitch to make it 7-1. Johnson's two out RBI single in the eighth brought home Loney for an 8-1 lead.
Tampa Bay reliever Jake McGee entered in the seventh, loaded the bases with two singles and a walk but got De Aza to strike out and escape the jam.
The White Sox loaded the bases with one out on Rays reliever Kyle Farnsworth and scored twice on back singles form Alexei Ramirez and Conor Gillaspie.
Right handed reliever Joel Peralta came in and struck out Tyler Flowers for a second out but then walked Jordan Danks to force in another run. He struck out De Aza to escape the inning. Tampa Bay replied with two runs in the top of the ninth.
Rays starting catcher Jose Molina left the game with one out in the fourth after Floyd hit him with a pitch, causing a right quad contusion. Lobaton came in as a pinch runner and took over behind the plate.
Tampa Bay sends left hander David Price (0-2, 2.52 ERA) against Chicago right hander Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 3.80 ERA) in Sunday's series finale.
NOTES: Tampa Bay shortstop Yunel Escobar missed his third straight game Saturday and remains day-to-day with right hamstring tightness. "He's doing better, he's still not ready to go. I don't want to press it right now and then have any kind of setback," Rays manager Joe Maddon said ... Tampa Bay left hander David Price will bring along a check for $5,000 from the Rays organization when he visits the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum on Monday to receive the 2012 Wilbur "Bullet" Rogan award as AL pitcher of the year. "It's a honor to receive that award and on behalf of the Rays to give them that check," he said. ... Price and Alex Cobb took batting practice Saturday The two are scheduled to pitch in Colorado in an upcoming interleague series
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
Didn't find what you were looking for?