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Moore feels ready to make his first start of 2013

The first encounter of the season between the Rays and Indians had the potential for a series filled with reunions and homecomings.

It doesn't appear as if it will live up to its billing, though.

Scott Kazmir will not pitch against his former team Saturday, as scheduled, because the Indians are placing him on the 15-day disabled list, backdated to Tuesday. And former Indian right-hander Roberto Hernandez pitched Thursday as the third starter in the Rays' rotation, even though he made the team as its fifth starter.

Instead, Rays lefty Matt Moore will oppose Zach McAllister in Friday's series opener. The 23-year-old Moore posted an 11-11 mark and 3.81 ERA in his first full season a year ago, but he went 1-1 with a 6.52 ERA in two starts against Cleveland.

This Indians club is a bit different, though. Moore has never faced Michael Bourn, Cleveland's new leadoff hitter and center fielder. He has also never dug in against Indians right fielder Drew Stubbs or third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall.

"They have a solid lineup," Moore said. "We've been doing our homework the last couple of days. I've never seen a couple of those guys before in their lineup. So it's going to be an advantage for somebody."

Indians: Indians erring on side of caution with Kazmir
• Kazmir pitched his way into the Cleveland rotation with a stellar spring. But now he has a right rib cage strain and is expected to miss two or three starts.

"We just wanted to be as conservative as possible," Indians head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said. "He's come a long way professionally. In our minds, this was the prudent thing to do."

• In Thursday's 10-8 loss to Toronto, Indians right-hander Brett Myers joined Jeff Shaw (April 30, 1990) as the only pitcher in Indians history with at least five innings, four home runs allowed and zero strikeouts in a game.

"I couldn't get the ball down tonight," Myers said. "Everything was up, and when you pitch up in the zone to these types of hitters in the big leagues, it's not going to be good."

Rays: Maddon explains rotation order
• Hernandez spent his first seven big league seasons with Cleveland before latching on with the Rays in the offseason. He earned the fifth and final spot in their rotation, though manager Joe Maddon opted to pitch him in the team's third game.

"Part of it was the schedule," Maddon said. "Part of it was people who we think may go deeper into the games than others, trying to protect the bullpen a little bit. When you put the whole thing together, you try to consider as many different variables as you possibly can and make the best guess."

• Moore went 1-5 with a 4.76 ERA in the first two months of the 2012 campaign. He said Thursday that he would prefer to pitch well out of the gates this season and avoid having to answer to questions about being a slow starter. He logged a 3.80 ERA in 21 1/3 innings of Grapefruit League play this spring.

• Shelley Duncan, who played for Cleveland from 2010-12, will face his former team this weekend. Duncan is batting .222 (2-for-9) with a homer this season.

Worth noting
• The Indians and Rays split their eight meetings last season, despite Tampa outscoring Cleveland, 39-34. Comments