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Moore selected to replace Darvish on All-Star roster

Rays lefty named to American League squad for upcoming Midsummer Classic

ST. PETERSBURG -- Matt Moore received the good news after the game: He's an American League All-Star.

The news came following Moore's Thursday afternoon outing against the Twins, in which he struck out 10 in a 7 1/3-inning performance that earned him his 13th win of the season.

"I'm really excited," Moore said. "The best [part] about it all was after I found out I was in [manager Joe Maddon's] office and came out of the room, I opened up the door and everyone was waiting there ... just to celebrate and stuff. It really was pretty shocking."

With Yu Darvish landing on the 15-day disabled list with a strained trapezius muscle, Moore was chosen by AL manager Jim Leyland to take his place and round out the AL squad.

David Price was the first to break the news to Moore, who said he "stone-faced it" when he received the news in Maddon's office after being summoned by pitching coach Jim Hickey.

"Hickey came up and said, 'Joe wants to see you,'" Moore said. "And I said, 'Am I getting sent down?' That was my first manager's office visit after a game. It was a good visit."

Maddon seemed pleased about the news.

"Matt Moore is now a member of the All-Star team this year," Maddon said. "We found out today, and we of course did not want to tell him prior to the game. He went out there and really had no-hit stuff today. He was outstanding."

Moore is 13-3 with a 3.44 ERA and 108 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings this season. He's holding opponents to a .214 batting average, the fifth-best mark among qualified AL starters.

The All-Star honor could be the first of many for the young Rays starter, who has impressed in his first 53 Major League games, through which he's fanned more than a batter per inning while posting a 3.64 ERA.

With Moore's selection, the All-Star Game will feature 31 first-year All-Stars, the third-highest total behind 2010 (33) and '11 (35).

Had Moore not eventually made the team, he would have been the first pitcher since Baltimore's Sidney Ponson in 2003 to win 12 or more games before the break and not get selected to the All-Star Game.

Moore got off to a quick start this season, posting an 8-0 mark with a 2.18 ERA in his first 11 starts. But he struggled in his next three starts, going 0-3 with a 13.86 ERA, before he righted the ship.

"I think, every year, you have that rise-and-fall or fall-and-rise type of thing," Moore said. "You get some momentum. And you keep running with it. When things are going tough, it's kind of hard to take that first step and get the ball rolling. It just seems like a lot of things are against you. Where we're at right now, we're having a good time. Things are loose. ... It's an exciting time here right now."

By winning his 13th game in the Rays' 93rd game of the season, Moore kept pace with David Price's 2012 pace when he became Tampa Bay's first 20-game winner en route to the AL Cy Young Award.

Moore becomes the 10th player acquired by executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman -- either through the Draft, trade or free agency -- who has made his first All-Star team with the Rays. The left-hander joins Jason Bartlett, Matt Joyce, Evan Longoria, Dioner Navarro, Carlos Pena, Price, Fernando Rodney, Rafael Soriano and Ben Zobrist.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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