The Red Sox staggered out of Fenway Park in the early hours of Monday morning after an 11-inning victory against the Yankees.
The Rays were watching from their hotel rooms, having arrived in Boston around the time the third inning started.
But don’t blame the schedule for Monday’s 3-0 loss against the Rays. A restful night probably wasn’t going to help against Matt Moore.
The 24-year-old lefthander dominated the Red Sox, giving up two hits and a walk in his first career shutout. The Sox advanced only one runner beyond first base and never came close to scoring.
“I think that’s probably the best game I’ve thrown taking into consideration the Red Sox are playing pretty well right now and we’re on the road,” Moore said.
Welcome to the pennant race. The Rays have won six straight, 14 of 15, and 18 of their last 20 games. They now sit only a half-game behind the Red Sox with three games left in the series.
“We knew what kind of team they had,” Sox right fielder Shane Victorino said. “A night like this, you tip your cap to the pitcher. He was great.”
Moore (14-3) was never really challenged. Of the 24 balls the Red Sox put in play, 11 were ground outs and five were popups. Moore threw only 65 pitches through the first six innings and finished the game with 109, 74 for strikes.
Monday was the first time in 52 career starts Moore pitched beyond the eighth inning.
“You saw him at his absolute best tonight,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said.
Moore joined Steve Trachsel as the only Tampa Bay pitchers to throw a shutout at Fenway. Trachsel beat the Sox and Pedro Martinez, 1-0, on May 6, 2000. Martinez struck out 17 in the loss.
Rookie Brandon Workman (1-0) took the loss this time. In his first appearance at Fenway since the Cape Cod League All-Star Game in 2009, Workman allowed two runs over six innings. He walked two and struck out four.
“He keeps the games under control and he shows some maturity on the mound for just three appearances at the big league level,” John Farrell said.
Workman, a second-round draft pick in 2010, has been developed as a starting pitcher. But the Sox called him up from Triple A Pawtucket on July 9 with the intent of making him a reliever, at least temporarily.
Workman ended up in the rotation when fellow rookie Allen Webster was demoted following a rough start against the Seattle Mariners.
In two starts since, Workman has allowed four earned runs on nine hits over 12.1 innings. With Clay Buchholz still weeks away from returning, Workman’s spot in the rotation seems secure for now.