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Rays confident as starters go deep into games

ST. PETERSBURG -- Each Rays starter has pitched six-plus innings in the team's first four games. If the team is to compensate for the loss of James Shields this season -- meaning his 200-plus innings every year -- all of the starters will have to step up. To that end, the group is off to a good start.

"It's good to see our starters do what we've done so far, innings wise," David Price said. "But we still want to get better. You know, Matt Moore throwing the ball the way he did [Friday night] gives us that feeling in the locker room. It gives a feeling to the starting pitchers. It's kind of back to the Ray way, and that's what we were talking about.

"[The staff] just put up nine zeroes and [had] a starter go out there and give us a quality outing the way he did. We're not sputtering, but we hadn't had a starting pitcher go out there and give us what we need to see. And that's what he was able to do yesterday. And that's the first game of the series, and that's very big for us.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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