DETROIT — Rays left-hander Matt Moore had plenty of time to look at video of Tuesday's 10-1 loss to the Tigers, his first of the season.
But after lasting just two-plus innings, matching a career high with six walks and allowing a season-high six runs, Moore was ready to quickly put this one in his rearview mirror.
"I didn't want to revisit that," Moore said. "That was a pretty pathetic thing to watch. I'm just going to do my best to treat (today) like (Tuesday) never happened and move on."
It was a sharp contrast from how Moore (8-1) had looked. But manager Joe Maddon wasn't concerned, saying a rough outing like that "had to happen sooner or later," and really good starters like Moore are going to have "three or four of those on an annual basis."
"That was a clunker, in general," Maddon said. "That was no fun, a no-fun game right there. We weren't in it pretty much."
Moore and Maddon had been worried about a longer layoff thanks to his rain-shortened, one-inning outing Friday in Cleveland. That's why Moore's start was moved up two days to Tuesday.
Moore didn't think rust was an issue, saying he had an unusually good pregame bullpen session. Maddon thought Moore started well, with the best fastball he had seen from him all year.
Moore said he just lost the feel for his release point in the Tigers' four-run second inning and, despite his best efforts, never got it back. He threw just 48 of his 86 pitches for strikes, specifically struggling with command of his breaking balls. He walked three in the third inning alone, one with the bases loaded, and failed to get an out.
"They didn't just beat him up," Maddon said. "He kind of beat himself up."
It could have been a lot worse if not for left-hander Alex Torres. Relieving Moore with the bases loaded and no outs in the third, Torres retired the heart of the Tigers order — Torii Hunter (fielder's choice), Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder (strikeouts) — to give the Rays (31-26) a chance.
"Outstanding," Moore said.
As much as the Rays were concerned about slowing Cabrera, the reigning American League MVP who is in range of another Triple Crown season, it was the rest of the Tigers lineup that hurt them. Cabrera reached base three times, on two singles, but had no RBIs, while the slugger who hits behind him, Fielder, had four, including a solo homer.
What Maddon lamented the most were the four two-strike hits Moore allowed, something the entire staff has to do better at curbing. Two of those came to begin the second, including an RBI double by Matt Tuiasosopo.
Moore walked three in that inning — No. 9 hitter Avisail Garcia on four pitches, Hunter and Cabrera — before Fielder's two-run single. Fielder is 8-for-9 with 10 RBIs the past 10 times Cabrera has been walked in front of him.
"The base hits were one thing," Moore said. "But the six walks, you can't defend walks. They're inexcusable."
Meanwhile, the explosive Rays offense was held in check by Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez, who scattered four hits over seven innings. But Moore said this was "100 percent on me."
Stay updated on Tampa Bay’s sports scene
Subscribe to our free Sports Today newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
"There were a lot of games in there that this team won for me,' Moore said. "And this is one of those particular games where I lost for us."
Joe Smith can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.