Tampa Bay blanks Texas in openerMatt Moore was the ultimate wild card. Making only his second major league start, Moore looked like an ace in pitching seven innings of two-hit ball Friday as the improbable Tampa Bay Rays opened the real playoffs with a 9-0 victory over the defending AL champion Texas Rangers.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Matt Moore was the ultimate wild card.
Making only his second major league start, Moore looked like an ace in pitching seven innings of two-hit ball Friday as the improbable Tampa Bay Rays opened the real playoffs with a 9-0 victory over the defending AL champion Texas Rangers.
Kelly Shoppach homered twice and drove in five runs, Johnny Damon also homered and Tampa Bay dominated the whole way behind their 22-year-old rookie pitcher.
“I may have looked a little more calm than I was, especially early. The first inning, I had a little bit of nerves and adrenaline going,” Moore said.
“But these guys made it really easy for me, putting up those numbers. Looking up there after the fourth, I think it was 8-0, it was just a matter of throwing strikes and getting out of the innings as fast as possible,” he said.
Tigers-Yankees playoff opener suspended by rain
NEW YORK — The rainy season rolls on.
The playoff opener between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees was suspended because of rain in the second inning Friday night, wiping out the ace of each pitching staff for a few days.
Justin Verlander started for Detroit against CC Sabathia in a highly anticipated matchup between two of the game’s best pitchers. The score was tied at 1 in the middle of the second inning when play was halted.
According to a rule adopted by Major League Baseball after rain wreaked havoc with the 2008 World Series, the game is not postponed. So it will pick up Saturday night at the point of suspension — weather permitting — with the Yankees coming to bat in the second inning. The forecast calls for rain through late Saturday night.
Neither ace is scheduled to pitch again until at least Game 3 on Monday, likely limiting both to one start each even if the best-of-five American League series goes the distance.
Francona out in Boston
BOSTON — The Terry Francona era in Boston began with the Red Sox first championship in 86 years. It ended after one of the worst months in club history.
Players who didn’t listen to him needed “a new voice,” he said, and his employers agreed.
The team announced Friday that it was not exercising its contract option for next season and wouldn’t hurry to name a replacement.
for the manager who rarely criticized his players publicly. That loyalty may not have been returned.
“I trusted them explicitly and things weren’t getting done the way I wanted it in the end,” Francona said, “and I was frustrated because of that. If that’s letting me down, maybe it is.”