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Rays' Moore pitches perfect inning as AL wins All-Star Game

NEW YORK — Most of the advice left-hander Matt Moore received from his Rays teammates as he headed to his first All-Star Game was to make sure to take his time and relish every moment.

But once he got on the Citi Field mound in the fifth inning of Tuesday's 3-0 American League win, he got done in a hurry, retiring three batters in order and needing only nine pitches to do so.

Moore was effective and efficient in setting down Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, who grounded out to second; St. Louis' Yadier Molina, who grounded to short; and Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki, who popped out to second.

The other Rays representative, infielder/outfielder Ben Zobrist, did not get into the game.

Yankees closer Mariano Rivera made a dramatic entrance in the eighth inning, for his final All-Star appearance. When Rivera, who is retiring after the season, took the mound to Enter Sandman, the rest of the AL players stayed by the front of the dugout and applauded along with the rest of the stadium record crowd of 45,186.

American League manager Jim Leyland apparently wanted to make sure Rivera pitched and didn't want to take a chance on the NL rallying in the eighth and not batting in the ninth. Texas' Joe Nathan closed it out; Rivera was named MVP.

Moore was not selected for the All-Star team originally despite having 12 wins at the time, but he was added, on the day he won his 13th, as an injury replacement for Texas' Yu Darvish, and showed his worth.

Warming up to pitch in the middle of an All-Star Game is unusual and sometimes problematic for a young starter, but Moore handled it well. He started throwing when Seattle's Felix Hernandez took the mound for the bottom of the fourth, took a break when the AL batted in the fifth — and a fan ran onto the field — then resumed throwing, and obviously was in good form.

Moore wasn't the only impressive young arm on display.

Tampa Alonso High product Jose Fernandez, the 20-year-old who made his major-league debut at Citi Field in April, worked a 1-2-3 sixth inning, striking out Boston's Dustin Pedroia, getting Detroit's Miguel Cabrera on a popup and striking out Baltimore's Chris Davis.

"Dangerous group of hitters there," Fernandez tweeted. "I felt like I was going to throw 110."

Fernandez was just the fifth 20-year-old (or younger) to pitch in an All-Star Game, joining Dwight Gooden, Fernando Valenzuela, Bob Feller and Jerry Walker.

The AL took a 1-0 lead in the fourth as Cabrera led off against Arizona's Patrick Corbin with a double, went to third on single Davis and scored on a sac fly by Toronto's Jose Bautista. They expanded it to 2-0 in the fifth when Baltimore's Adam Jones doubled, went to third on a single by Minnesota's Joe Mauer and scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Baltimore's J.J. Hardy. And they made it 3-0 in the eighth when Cleveland's Jason Kipnis doubled in Kansas City's Salvador Perez.

Among other highlights, Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman hitting 101 mph in striking out Jones to end the seventh and Detroit's Prince Fielder legging out a triple.

Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield was actually the first Rays representative to get on the field, coming out to attend to Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano after he was hit near the knee by a Matt Harvey pitch in the first inning. Cano left the game a few moments later; X-rays were negative and he said it was more a bruise on the quad.

Harvey, the hometown favorite of the Citi Field crowd, got off to a shaky start but put on an impressive show. He allowed a double to Jersey boy Mike Trout on his first pitch and hit Cano with his third, then retired his next six batters, striking out three, and leaving to a big cheer.

"Obviously there was some jittering going in the bullpen," Harvey said. "But for some reason once I got out there I felt great and felt like I was at home."

Rays' Moore pitches perfect inning as AL wins All-Star Game 07/16/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 16, 2013 11:48pm]
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