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Moore struggles in lopsided loss to Tribe

May 2, 2018

CLEVELAND -- In the midst of a stretch with 13 games in 13 days, the Rangers needed length out of starter Matt Moore on Wednesday.But things went south in a hurry, as Moore was knocked around for nine runs in the first two frames. The southpaw was able to salvage

CLEVELAND -- In the midst of a stretch with 13 games in 13 days, the Rangers needed length out of starter Matt Moore on Wednesday.
But things went south in a hurry, as Moore was knocked around for nine runs in the first two frames. The southpaw was able to salvage the outing and go four innings to save a tiring bullpen, but the Rangers could not recover as they fell to the Indians, 12-4, at Progressive Field to lose the series.
Moore was able to get ahead in the count, but he could not put the Indians away. He reached 0-2 counts to seven batters but gave up hits to four of them, all of which came in the disastrous first two innings, including the first of three home runs Edwin Encarnacion would hit.

"First of all, you've got to give it to him for hanging in there and throwing as many pitches as he did in a short period of time, knowing that we were a little short in the bullpen today," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He continued to grind it out and gave us everything he had.
"The stuff's good, the stuff's good enough. He only had the two walks. However, it was the 0-2 counts and the 0-0 counts. These guys come out swinging early in the count, as well. It's a situation where his fastball is good enough and his curveball is still quality, it's just getting to the put-away."
The Indians jumped all over Moore's fastball and hit 8-for-12 off the pitch with five extra-base hits, while taking a pair of walks. After getting leadoff hitter Rajai Davis to ground out in the first, Moore gave up hits to the next four hitters and found himself in a 4-0 hole after Encarnacion ripped a 412-foot shot to the left-field stands at 106.8 mph.
Things went much the same in the second inning, as Moore recorded an out and then gave up hits to five of the next six batters -- capped by Encarnacion's second home run. Although he labored through 61 pitches in the first two frames, Moore was able to get things under control in the next two innings and hold Cleveland to one additional run.
"I felt like one way or another, it seemed like on a lot of the pitches, it just felt like they knew it was coming," Moore said. "Whether it be some of the changeups that didn't even get to move or the fastball down away to Encarnacion, I didn't think that was a part of what he does. It cost me today, and just in general it was a lot of barrel to baseball."
The Rangers had used seven relievers over 8 1/3 innings in the first two games of the series -- giving up nine runs -- but things went more smoothly in the series finale. Nick Gardewine, who was called up earlier in the day, threw two scoreless innings, while Jesse Chavez ate up the last two innings and surrendered Encarnacion's final home run.

Gallo and Mazara go deep again: The winds have been blowing out in Cleveland this week, and outfielders Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara have taken advantage of that. After going deep on Tuesday, Mazara jumped on a high 2-1 sinker from Corey Kluber and knocked it 423 feet to right-center.

Gallo followed suit in the seventh inning when he jumped on a first-pitch fastball down the pipe and deposited it 412 feet into the bleachers.

Delino DeShields has matured into a solid defensive center fielder, and he flashed his leather to take away extra bases and at least one run from the Indians. With runners on the corners and two outs in the fifth, Francisco Lindor launched a high fly ball to left-center that looked destined to hit off the wall. However, DeShields covered 107 feet in six seconds, planting his right foot on the wall for support, and came down with the catch. The ball had a 58 percent catch probability and brought him to 3-for-3 on the year for 3-star catch opportunities.

"Great catch by D," Banister said. "He's done a lot of work here in the last two years. I think he gets a little bit underrated on the defensive side of things, and for that catch, for him to get to the wall and get up and make the catch, he's made the home run-saving catches, he's laying out. He's putting it all out on the line and trying to make some baseball plays for his team."
Jurickson Profar had a strong series at the plate in Cleveland, but he's perhaps been even more impressive in the field. Profar made another great play in the third inning to save a run, as Lindor hit a chopper up the middle at 101.0 mph with runners on the corners and two down. The 25-year-old made an excellent diving stop and was able to flip the ball to second baseman Drew Robinson to complete the inning-ending force out.

"You can't do that unless your pre-pitch is set up and you're checking in on every single pitch, and that's what Pro continues to do," Banister said. "I know he and [third-base coach] Tony Beasley are working very hard on just the footwork, the setup. He got down on time, great reaction up the middle, stayed calm when he was on the ground and made a great flip to Drew there."
The Rangers open up a four-game set at home against the Red Sox on Thursday at 7:05 p.m. CT as Mike Minor takes the hill vs. David Price. The Texas southpaw has displayed excellent command lately, with just two walks issued in his past three starts, and he will be looking to pitch past the sixth inning for the first time this season.

Ben Weinrib is a contributor to