Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore wanted to smile when he reached the mound in the ninth inning Monday needing only three outs for the first shutout (or complete game of any sort) of his career.


"It was a lot of fun," he said.


But Moore resisted the urge to crack even the shyest of grins, as well as the urge to speed things up and sprint for the finish line.


Instead, he stayed with what had been working all night. He looked for the sign from catcher Jose Lobaton, threw the pitch that was called and put the finishing touches on a 3-0 victory against the first-place Boston Red Sox during the opening round of their four-game series.


With the victory the Rays moved to within a half-game of the division leaders.


"I think that's probably the best game I've ever thrown, taking into consideration the Red Sox are playing pretty well right now and we're on the road," Moore said.


Moore extended his winning streak to six games and improved his record to 14-3. He also kept the Rays rolling.


The Rays have now won 18 of their last 20 games, making them the fourth team in the past 10 years to win at least 18 games in a 20-game stretch. The Twins had a 19-1 run in 2006.


Moore also became the first visiting pitcher since Roy Halladay in 2009 to throw a shutout at Fenway Park. Halladay tossed a three-hitter.


Moore held the Red Sox to a pair of hits, something done only four other times by a visiting pitcher at Fenway in the last 20 years.


And, Moore became the second pitcher in team history to shut out the Red Sox in Boston, joining Steve Trachsel, who did it May 16, 2000.