ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Ben Zobrist said it was awfully boring standing around right field on Friday night at Tropicana Field, with Tampa Bay starting pitcher Matt Moore and the Rays bullpen not allowing a Cleveland baserunner after the fourth inning. And only five balls to the outfield all night.
Luckily for Zobrist, he was able to generate his own excitement at the plate, however, going 2-for-4 with two doubles and knocking in three runs as the Rays smothered the Indians, 4-0.
Moore and three relievers held the Indians to two hits and retired the last 17 batters in order as the Rays evened their record at 2-2 after losing a three-game season-opening set to Baltimore.
Moore (1-0) left after six innings with a 4-0 lead. A historically low starter in April and May as a professional, he allowed just two hits, walked two and struck out eight by getting ahead in counts and tantalizing the Indians outside the strike zone when they had to defend the plate.
"Usually when I am ahead, that really opens up options. I can start expanding the zone a little bit," Moore said. "That first pitch is huge and tonight I was able to pop some two-seamers in there early and that set up the other stuff."
Zach Wheeler, Brandon Gomes and Joel Peralta each pitched a perfect inning in relief.
Cleveland has lost two straight after a 2-0 start to the season.
"(Moore)'s got enough of a fastball where you've got to respect that, and then you start flipping that breaking ball in for strikes, that made him real tough," Indians manager Terry Francona said.
Getting Orioles slugger Chris Davis out of town undoubtedly helped the Rays, who uncharacteristically allowed at least six runs a game against Baltimore. Davis knocked in 11 runs with six extra-base hits as Baltimore took two of three games in that series.
The win on Friday, with a suffocating pitching performance and a smattering of key hits, was more like vintage Rays baseball.
"It was great," Zobrist said. "Matt Moore was great for us. He was everything we needed him to be and more and you've got our bullpen was just great, phenomenal tonight. ... Yeah, it was pretty boring out in the outfield and that was a good thing."
Cleveland starter Zach McAllister (0-1) had no such support and took the loss after allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings.
Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead in the fourth on RBIs from Zobrist and Yunel Escobar. Sam Fuld led off with a single and scored on Zobrist's double into the right-field corner. Zobrist took third on a wild pitch and scored on Escobar's groundout to short.
"I tried to go in and didn't go in far enough," McAllister said. "He was able to keep it fair, put a pretty good swing on it."
Zobrist's two-run double in the fifth gave the Rays a gifted 4-0 lead. A two-out fielding error by third baseman Mike Aviles put Desmond Jennings aboard and Fuld followed with a single to send him to third. Zobrist, who was 0-for-5 lifetime against McAllister before the game, then pulled a 1-1 changeup into the right-field corner. Both runs were unearned.
Aviles did not have a highlight reel night. With the Indians threatening in a scoreless game in the third, he was caught off third base with one out and erased after a rundown.
NOTES: Cleveland hit just five balls out of the infield. ... The Rays recorded their first 10-strikeout pitching line of the season. ... The Rays bullpen pitched three scoreless innings after allowing nine runs in eight innings against the Orioles. ... The Indians have lost 13 of their last 17 against Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field. ... Michael Bourn was 2-for-4 on Friday. His teammates were 0-for-24. ... Zobrist's fourth-inning RBI single marked the first time this season (in four games) that the Rays scored first. ... The Rays traded catcher Stephen Vogt to Oakland for a player to be named or cash. Vogt went 0-for-27 in 18 games with the Rays last season. He hit .286 in spring training but was designated for assignment on March 31. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon has used four different lineups this season. He used a club-record and MLB-high 151 different combinations in 2012. ... The Indians will call up Trevor Bauer, acquired in a three-team trade from Arizona this offseason, to start Saturday. He will replace former Ray pitcher Scott Kazmir, who was diagnosed with a rib cage strain after undergoing an MRI in Cleveland on Thursday.