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TB@LAA: Moore blanks the Angels over 6 1/3 innings

Rays left-hander Matt Moore now has 20 starts under his belt in his rookie season, and he admits facing Major League hitters has been a bit of an education process.

"I'm going to make mistakes just like they're going to possibly miss some pitches," Moore said. "Seems like pitchers are up in the zone a little bit more. I don't slide through or get away with as much stuff as I used to [in the Minor Leagues]."

Moore's education continues Friday against the Orioles, who travel to Tampa Bay for a pivotal weekend series at Tropicana Field.

Moore tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Angels in his last outing, holding them to only four hits to earn his seventh win of the season. Moore said he's excited to follow that start with another solid one.

"Yeah. Obviously I'm going to try and build on that by getting ahead," Moore said. "Try and finish hitters a little bit quicker."

The young lefty faces another potent lineup Friday, as the Orioles come to town after taking two of three from the Yankees. Baltimore is batting .323 with 16 doubles, nine homers and 35 runs scored in its last six games, and that success starts at the top.

Leadoff hitter Nick Markakis is hitting .368 with six doubles, two homers and 15 runs scored in his last 20 games since coming off the disabled list.

Orioles: Hunter on road mound
Right-hander Tommy Hunter takes the mound Friday for the Orioles after turning in two impressive outings in his last two starts on the road. Hunter worked into the eighth inning in each of those starts -- against the Twins and Indians -- which is a bit of an oddity considering the righty is 1-4 with a 6.36 ERA away from Baltimore this season.

• Center fielder Adam Jones is one homer shy of his career high (25), which was set last year. He's also one short of 100 for his career.

Rays: Rodney's impressive season
Closer Fernando Rodney finished July with 30 saves and an 0.76 ERA. Since 1969 -- when the save became an official statistic -- no pitcher has finished July with that low of an ERA with 30-plus saves. The closest to doing so was John Smoltz (40 saves, 0.81 ERA) in 2003 and Dennis Eckersley (32, 0.81) in 1990.

• The Rays have struck out 10 or more batters in nine of the last 13 games.

Worth noting
• All three of Carlos Pena's career hits against Hunter have been for extra bases (two homers, one double).

• The Rays went 6-3 on their recently completed nine-game road trip.

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