Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore wanted to smile when he reached the mound in the ninth inning Monday needing only three outs for the first shutout (or complete game of any sort) of his career.
"It was a lot of fun," he said.
But Moore resisted the urge to crack even the shyest of grins, as well as the urge to speed things up and sprint for the finish line.
Instead, he stayed with what had been working all night. He looked for the sign from catcher Jose Lobaton, threw the pitch that was called and put the finishing touches on a 3-0 victory against the first-place Boston Red Sox during the opening round of their four-game series.
With the victory the Rays moved to within a half-game of the division leaders.
"I think that's probably the best game I've ever thrown, taking into consideration the Red Sox are playing pretty well right now and we're on the road," Moore said.
Moore extended his winning streak to six games and improved his record to 14-3. He also kept t...