Montgomery Biscuits left-hander Matt Moore, one of the game’s best pitching prospects, threw a no-hitter Thursday in an 8-0 win over the Mobile BayBears.
It was the first no-hitter in Biscuits history and the first nine-inning no-no for a Rays farmhand since 2002. Moore struck out 11 and walked two in the 106-pitch outing. He outdueled another excellent pitching prospect, the Diamondbacks’ Jarrod Parker.
BayBears first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, the home run leader in the minors this season, went 0-for-3 against Moore in the contest.
With the victory, Moore moved to 4-3 this season. He has a 2.43 ERA and a 103/23 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 innings, and Southern League hitters are batting just .186 against him.
In another organization, Moore, who turns 22 on Saturday, would likely be primed for a midseason callup. However, the Rays are cautious as any team in baseball with their pitching prospects and even if more injuries strike their rotation, it’s possible we won’t see him in the majors this season.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.