Matt Moore struggles in rehab start before return next week

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Tampa Bay’s plan for Matt Moore was to have him make a minor-league rehab start last night at Triple-A and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the rotation Tuesday after a month on the sidelines with an elbow injury.

That may still be the plan, but Moore allowed four runs on eight hits in four innings for Durham last night, striking out two and walking two.

However, the good news according to Eric Single of MLB.com is that Moore reached 95-96 miles per hour with his fastball and the 23-year-old All-Star didn’t seem worried about his tune-up performance. Before the injury Moore was 14-3 with a 3.41 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 121 innings, so the Rays’ chances of making the playoffs and making a deep postseason run depend an awful lot on the health of his left elbow.