The Rays have had a dissapointing stretch here in late August coming into Wednesday night with a four game losing streak. The main problem of late has been not being able to win close games and scoring runs. The Rays had plenty of help offensively blasting four home runs and recording 16 hits. Getting to all-star Matt Harrison was a key; but how would Alex Cobb pitch?
The Rays started off great with an RBI double from Ben Zobrist to drive in Desmond Jennings in the first inning.
The next batter Evan Longoria hit a two-run home run to center field to give the Rays a 3-0 lead.
One inning later, B.J. Upton joined the party with a three-run home run to give the Rays a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second, Mitch Moreland hit a two-run home run putting the Rangers on the board to make it 6-2.
Elvis Andrus scored on a fielder’s choice groundout by Nelson Cruz in the third to make it 6-3.
Josh Hamilton hit his 36th home run of the season in the fifth to put another run on the board for Texas making it 6-4.
The Rays responded in the top of the sixth with a solo home run by Elliott Johnson to increase the Rays lead to three runs.
Evan Longoria added insurance in the ninth with a his second homer of the game to give the Rays the 8-4 lead. Fernando Rodney shut the door in the ninth and the Rays avoided the sweep.
The Rays are now 71-59. The Yankees and Orioles lost, so Tampa Bay gains a game in the wild card and the division.
notable stat lines
- Alex Cobb 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- Matt Harrison L(15-8) 5.1 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 1 BB, 5 K
- B.J. Upton (2-5) R, HR, 3 RBI
- Evan Longoria (2-5) 2 HR, 3 RBI
- Jeff Keppinger (4-5)
- Ben Zobrist (3-5) R, RBI
Rays news and notes
- Tomorrow the Rays start a four game series with the Blue Jays in Toronto. It will be Matt Moore (10-7, 3.60 ERA) vs. Carlos Villanueva (6-4, 3.30 ERA). First pitch is at 7:07 EST.