Matt Moore has pitched more than well enough to win in three of his last four starts. Unfortunately, he hasn't tasted victory since July 2.
Moore (4-10) fanned a career-high 13 batters over six scoreless innings to grab the Minor League strikeout lead Saturday, but the Charlotte Stone Crabs were blanked by the Lakeland Flying Tigers, 1-0.
It was deja vu for the 21-year-old southpaw, who struck out 10 over seven shutout frames on July 22 before Charlotte pulled out an 11-inning win at Clearwater. On July 28, he fanned 10 more and allowed only two baserunners over seven shutout innings before Charlotte lost at Tampa, 3-0.
Moore has yielded only two runs over 24 innings since his last win, producing a loss and three no-decisions.
Still, the 2007 eighth-round pick can take consolation in his most recent outing as he brought his ERA below 4.00 for the first time since the opening week of the season. He also eclipsed his previous best of 12 strikeouts, established on June 6, 2009 for Class A Bowling Green.
Moore worked around a leadoff single and a walk in the first inning by striking out the side, then faced the minimum in the second with the help of a double play.
The New Mexico native fanned three more in the third and got Francisco Martinez swinging for the second time to end the fourth. He reached double digits when Chris Sedon went down with one out in the fifth, then stranded Samir Rijo in scoring position two batters later by whiffing Gustavo Nunez.
Moore ended his evening by striking out two more in the sixth, moving past Charlie Furbush (163) of the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens for the overall lead. Ironically, Furbush began the year with the Flying Tigers.
This was the seventh time in 22 starts this season that Moore has struck out at least 10 batters.
Adam Wilk (9-4) outlasted Moore for the win, striking out five and yielding six hits over eight scoreless innings. Lakeland broke through in the eighth against reliever Neil Schenk (2-2) as Gustavo Nunez singled, raced to third on a base hit by Bryan Holaday and scored on a bunt by Brent Wyatt.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.