ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Moore said escaping the third inning scoreless on Tuesday at Tropicana Field was like a "second chance." He made the most of it.
The sometimes-dominating, sometimes-dumfounding left-hander recovered from nagging wildness and early troubles to win his tenth game of the season as the Tampa Bay Rays again stifled the Toronto Blue Jays in a 5-1 victory at Tropicana Field.
Toronto entered the three-game series with an 11-game winning streak, the longest in the major leagues this season, and scoring runs in droves. But a night after being limited to four hits in a 4-1 loss, Toronto managed just six hits against Moore and three relievers.
Moore walked two batters and allowed a base hit to Edwin Encarnacion to load the bases with one out in the third inning of a 1-1 game, but struck out Rajai Davis and Colby Rasmus to end what was Toronto's last major threat.
"It's a new life," Moore said of avoiding trouble. "You're still tied up at 1-1. It's not that ideal to have the pitch count that high there, but the damage isn't done to the entire team."
Moore (10-3) allowed one run and four hits, tying career highs in strikeouts (11), walks (6) and pitches (120) in six innings. He became the sixth major leaguer with at least 10 wins this season.
"Guys with that kind of stuff can do that," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Moore's odd boxscore. "He's going to walk some people. That will go away. If he's walking people and also giving up hits, he's probably out of that game in the fourth inning."
The loss kept the Blue Jays (38-38) in last place in the stout American League East. Fourth-place Tampa Bay improved to 41-37 with its third straight win.
"I think the third inning was our shot tonight," Toronto manager John Gibbons said, "and didn't get that hit. That's what they do. They pitch."
A nifty slide at the plate by Jose Molina was crucial in the Rays' decisive three-run fourth inning against Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle.
The plodding Molina -- who led off with a walk and advanced after Kelly Johnson was hit by a pitch and Desmond Jennings (2-for-4) singled -- was sent home by third base coach Tom Foley when Sean Rodriguez lifted a fly ball to medium-deep right field.
Jose Bautista gunned a throw home that arrived before Molina, but Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia stabbed and missed the ball with his glove as Molina skidded past and scored for a 2-1 lead.
"I think (Arencibia) thought I was going to give up easy, so I just did one of those slides," Molina said. "That was luck. A lot of luck."
Ben Zobrist's subsequent run-scoring sacrifice fly to right was less eventful, and after Buehrle walked Evan Longoria intentionally, rookie Wil Myers ripped a run-scoring liner to left for a 4-1 lead.
Buehrle (4-5) allowed four runs, eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts. He lasted just five innings for the second straight start.
"You walked a guy, hit a guy, getting yourself in trouble, two guys on and nobody out, you're in trouble," Buehrle said. "It was frustrating all the way around."
Johnson's seventh-inning groundout scored Yunel Escobar (3-for-5) to boost the lead to 5-1.
Moore worked himself into trouble in the second with two walks and nearly out of it with two strikeouts before ninth-hole hitter Maicer Izturis sprayed a line drive to right for his eighth RBI in the last 13 games. Toronto led, 1-0, and was threatening as Moore scuttled, but the Melky Cabrera's groundout ended what was the Blue Jays' only scoring inning.
The Rays tied the score 1-1 in the bottom of the inning on Jennings' two-out single to left. James Loney (3-for-5) began the rally with a one-out single, and took second on a wild pitch.
Melky Cabrera and Colby Rasmus were each 2-for-4 for Toronto.
NOTES: Toronto is 2-for-12 this series with runners in scoring position. It was 24-for-70 during an 11-game win streak. ... The Blue Jays will activate SS Jose Reyes on Wednesday. Reyes, 30, hasn't played for Toronto since spraining his right ankle on April 12, when he was batting .395. Reyes was one of several major offseason acquisitions for the Jays. Munenori Kawasaki will likely be sent to the minors to make room for Reyes on the roster. ... LHP David Price will be limited to about 70 pitches in a rehab start Wednesday with Class A Charlotte (Port Charlotte, Fla.). He will then be re-evaluated to assess if he requires another minor league start before rejoining the Rays. He was placed on the disabled list on May 16 with a triceps strain. ... Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson is tied for the major league lead in wins (four) this month. ... Cecil's single allowed to the Escobar ended a franchise-record string in which he had held opponents hitless in 40 straight at-bats. His streak of 19 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings was also snapped. ... Toronto LF Davis was batting .392 with two grand slams with the bases loaded before striking out against Moore in the third inning.