The Tampa Bay Rays (1-0) could do no wrong on Friday afternoon, dominating the Texas Rangers (0-1) with superior pitching, fielding, and hitting en route to a 9-0 drubbing.
Starting the Rays, rookie Matt Moore stifled the Rangers and their second-best-in-the-league offense, twirling 7 innings of shutout baseball, walking only 2 and striking out 6.
The game started well for the Rays, who took the lead in the second inning and never looked back. After Rangers starter C.J. Wilson plunked Ben Zobrist, designated hitter Johnny Damon popped a homer into the shade of the right field bleachers, giving the Rays a 2-0 advantage. Catcher Kelly Shoppach then singled and come home on a Matt Joyce hit two outs later.
Leading 3-0, the Rays did let up, adding 3 more runs on Kelly Shoppach's monster home run to center field in the 3rd inning. With a 6-0 lead, Moore allowed only 4 more base runners through the next five innings, which Shoppach apparently found boring as he cracked another center field home run -- his second of the day -- to give the Rays an 8-0 margin.
In all, the Rangers starter and ace, C.J. Wilson, lasted on 5 innings, surrendering 8 runs, 7 earned runs (Damon was able to score on Shoppach's second homer after an uncommon Adrian Beltre error), and 3 HR, despite striking out 6 and walking only 1. Scott Feldman, who relieved Wilson, pitched 3 impressive frames, striking out 4 and allowing only 2 hits.
The Rays were able to add an insurance in the top of the 9th inning to finish the game with an impressive 9-0 win.
The Rays will send James Shields to the mound tomorrow for Game 2 of the ALDS to face Derek Holland. Gametime is slated for first pitch at 7:07 p.m. ET.