Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Command lagging for Rays' Moore

PORT CHARLOTTE — LHP Matt Moore looked better in his third outing of the spring Sunday but still not right mechanically.

"He threw maybe five-six really well-thrown fastballs and a couple good changeups, but overall not as sharp as he wants to be, and his command is still not where he wants it to be," manager Joe Maddon said.

"I've heard he's been a slow starter historically. I know he feels fine, there are no injury concerns or problems. It's just that at this point he doesn't seem comfortable yet throwing the baseball."

Moore worked 3⅔ innings of the 6-2 loss to Boston, allowing three runs — on a David Ross home run — and four hits total, walking two and striking out two and throwing 65 pitches (and only 39 for strikes).

Moore, 23, said he felt there was definite progress from his last outing and little to worry about with the start of the season three weeks away.

"My arm's fine, it's not like I'm getting stroked around the yard, it's just a matter of me figuring me out, and that happens from time to time," he said. "Throughout my short career it's been kind of like that for me in the beginning. Not much concern how things are going to pan out. But I guess you could say I was ready to have one like today."

BECKHAM DOWN: Prospect INF Tim Beckham is expected to miss only a few days after a scary injury Friday that resulted in eight stitches under his right eye after being hit by a thrown ball during drills.

"It was a blessing that nothing more serious happened," he said.

Beckham said he was doing drills on a back field when he took a throw that skipped off his glove and hit his Nike sunglasses — which didn't break, or even sustain a scratch, and prevented damage beyond the gash. He said there were no lingering symptoms such as headaches or blurred vision.

"Just a freak accident, man, it can happen to anybody," Beckham said.

MORE MEDICAL: DH Luke Scott, sidelined a week with left hamstring tightness, is expected to play tonight, Maddon said. So, too, is CF Desmond Jennings, who left Saturday's game with a mild left ankle sprain. "I'm good to go," Jennings said. "It was no big deal." OF Sam Fuld, out a week with right hamstring tightness, is slated to return at the end of the week.

ON A ROLL: LHP David Price tried to throw a few strikes from a practice field mound Sunday with a bowling ball, promoting his participation in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids' Sake fundraiser. Price said the BB-BS groups are "phenomenal, to have people take time out of their days to help these kids." Top fundraisers get invited to Price's March 29 VIP bowling party; see bbbsfl.org for info. Price, by the way, claims to have once bowled a 256.

GAME DETAILS: The Rays (11-4) took a 2-0 lead on a single by Yunel Escobar and a sac fly by Evan Longoria, but the Sox went ahead on Ross' homer off Moore and built from there. … RHP Josh Lueke had another impressive outing, 1⅔ hitless innings. … C Chris Gimenez had another hit — he is 11-for-22 — and caught Maddon's eye with his approach and work behind the plate. … Maddon said Sean Rodriguez looked very comfortable in centerfield.

MISCELLANY: A second round of cuts is expected today. … Price is likely to pitch in minor-league games Wednesday and March 18 since the big-league team is off. … The crowd of 7,069 was the Rays' first sellout of the spring. … Hall of Famer Cal Ripken said Longoria "is the best at starting the 5-4-3 double play" and "one of my favorites to watch for sure." … The stadium radar gun wasn't working, Maddon joking that with two TV and two radio crews, "it was a Super Bowl moment, we didn't have enough juice."

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