Matt Moore dominates Yankees in first MLB start

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Rays left-hander Matt Moore took the mound Thursday night at Yankee Stadium for the first start of his major league career. And it went about as well as any prospect evaluator could have imagined.

The 22-year-old southpaw fanned 11 batters over five scoreless innings, yielding only four hits and issuing just one walk as the Rays grabbed a crucial 15-8 victory to move a half-game closer to the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card standings.

According to ESPN’s StatsInfo, Moore is the first pitcher in major league history to tally 11 strikeouts in five innings or less against the Yankees. Rookie or non-rookie. He threw 59 of his 84 pitches for strikes, displaying high-90s fastball velocity and great command over his curveball and changeup.

Moore was promoted to the big leagues 10 days ago after registering a 1.92 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and 210/46 K/BB ratio across 155 innings between Double-A Montgomery and Triple-A Durham. He has ace-like upside.

Watch: Brian McCann’s incredible tag nails Greg Bird at home plate

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Things got a little wild in the fifth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday. With one out and runners at the corners, Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton fired a 1-1 fastball to Todd Frazier. Frazier returned the ball to third baseman Alex Bregman, who tossed a perfect throw over to Brian McCann at the plate just as Greg Bird came charging home. McCann’s setup was flawless, nailing Bird as he slid into the plate and nullifying the Yankees’ first real attempt to get on the board.

That’s as close as the Yankees have come to scoring so far. The Astros took an early 1-0 lead with Evan Gattis‘ 405-footer off of CC Sabathia in the top of the fourth inning. Jose Altuve chimed in with an opposite-field solo shot in the fifth, while McCann followed his lead-preserving tag with an equally jaw-dropping two-out, two-RBI double. Houston currently leads 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.