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Updated: 03/09/2014 08:00:03AM

Rays’ ERA takes a big hit

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Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jose Molina (28) talks with Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Grant Balfour (50) during the fourth inning Saturday at Charlotte Sports Park.


Photo by Tom O'Neill

Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar (11) puts a late tag on Pittsburgh Pirates left fielder Starling Marte (6)during the first inning Saturday at Charlotte Sports Park.


Photo by Tom O'Neill

By JOSH VITALE

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PORT CHARLOTTE—When the Tampa Bay Rays entered Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, their 2.25 spring training ERA was the best mark in the majors. By the time the game was over, that number had risen to 2.96.

The Rays’ pitching staff got shellacked by the Pirates on Saturday, most notably starter Matt Moore. The left-hander lasted just 2⁄3 innings in Tampa Bay’s 10-5 loss to Pittsburgh, giving up six runs (four earned) on five hits, a walk, a hit batter and a wild pitch.

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