BOSTON (AP) — Matt Moore turned to watch a routine fly to deep right field. Then he saw it fall behind rookie Wil Myers for a ground-rule double.
Suddenly, the Rays' outstanding left-hander had gone from in control to in trouble.
Myers' misplay on a drive by David Ortiz started the Boston Red Sox toward a five-run fourth inning and a 12-2 win over Tampa Bay in the opener of the AL division series on Friday.
"There's going to be things that happen throughout the course of a game that don't particularly go your way and, obviously, that one didn't," Moore said. "I have to be better than five runs after that, regardless. No outs, two outs, I have to be better than five runs."
Moore allowed five runs or more in just five of his 27 starts this season. That stinginess propelled him to a 17-4 record and 3.29 ERA.
Myers called for the ball but, at the last instant, backed off when he saw center fielder Desmond Jennings out of the corner of his eye.
"That was totally my fault," Myers said. "I should have took more charge out there and just caught the ball."
Moore contributed to the fielding follies later in the inning when he was late covering first base on a grounder and Stephen Drew beat James Loney's throw. Jonny Gomes scored from second on the play.
"It was a big-time mistake on my part being late at first and not being aware of what the runner on second base was doing after that," Moore said.
The defensive mistakes were uncharacteristic of the Rays, who had the second-best fielding percentage in the majors.
"Matty was not bad," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was just an unfortunate inning. With a more normal inning, he could have pitched deep into the game. Everything was good. We just kind of messed it up in that inning. But mistakes will kill you. We're normally not the team that makes those kind of mistakes. We did tonight."
Moore allowed eight runs on eight hits in 4 1-3 innings, striking out four and walking two as he struggled after Myers' let the ball drop.
"I felt bad for Matty," Jennings said. "I felt bad for our team. It's a play that we should make."
Needing a 163rd game to earn a wild-card berth, the Rays won three win-or-go-home games in three different cities to reach this series. Now they need a victory in Game 2 on Saturday to tie the best-of-five series before it shifts to St. Petersburg, Fla., for Games 3 and 4.
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