Quantcast 2008 Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Take 2 of 3 From Rangers
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Rays Take 2 of 3 From Rangers

The Rays continue to roll right along despite injuries to Evan Longoria and Carl Crawford. The Rays hit the ball well at The Ballpark in Arlington and they were able to take 2 of 3 from Texas and gain more ground in the AL East. The Rays are now 4.5 games up on Boston and New York has fallen off pace dramatically as they are now 9.5 back.

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In the first game Matt Garza shut out the Rangers giving up only two hits and striking out nine in his complete game shutout. The four homers the Rays put up also helped as Aybar (7), Pena (24), Hinske (18), and Gross (10) jacked some shots out to help the Rays win 7-0 in the first game of the series. Kevin Millwood had a rough outing for Texas as he pitched four and two thirds innings giving up ten hits and five earned as all four homers came off of him. The Rays pounded out 13 hits in the win and Garza held the Rangers bats to two as only Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler got hits in the game.

In the second game it was the Rangers turn to pull the shutout as the rookie Matt Harrison pitched eight shutout innings giving up only three hits and striking out eight in picking up his 5 th victory of the year. Eddie Guardado came in the ninth and picked up his first save of the year. Ian Kinsler homered for the Rangers in the first inning to kick off the game and he finished 2-5 with the homer in the game. Michael Young also had two hits in the game as he went 2-3 with an rbi. Edwin Jackson pitched a great game but the Rays could not get anything going offensively. Jackson gave up one earned run in six innings of work while striking out six. He was charged with the loss and that dropped his record to 9-8 on the season. Iwamura, Bartlett, and Baldelli got the hits for the Rays and that was it for Tampa Bay. B.J. Upton was benched in the game due to not hustling out a ground ball.

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In the last game of the series, the Rays jumped on Texas early and held off a late rally to win the game 7-4. B.J. Upton responded beautifully to the benching by cranking out a home run to center and driving in three. Carlos Pena also helped by blasting his 25 th homer of the year to right, a 3 run shot to put the Rays up 4-1 early in the game. Scott Kazmir gave up two earned in six innings striking out seven picking up his ninth win of the year. To the Rangers credit they rallied in the ninth down 7-2. After a fielder’s choice scored a run to make it 7-3, Joe Maddon called for the intentional walk to Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded to make it 7-4. He wanted to take his chances with Marlon Byrd and it paid off as Dan Wheeler struck out Byrd to end the game. Josh Hamilton went 2-4 with two runs driven in for the Rangers but it wasn’t enough as the Rays took the series.

Next up the Rays end their west coast road trip and come back to sunny Florida for a set with the best team in baseball, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Earlier in the year Maddon’s team swept Scioscia’s Angels in three games, but now the Angels have added Mark Teixeira and look poised to make a run into October. This playoff preview will be good but the Rays are still without Longoria and Crawford. Crawford could be done for the regular season and the Rays expect Longoria back next week sometime. The pitching probables are as follows:

  • J. Garland (11-7) vs. A. Sonnanstine (12-6)
  • E. Santana (13-5) vs. J. Shields (10-7)
  • J. Weaver (10-9) vs. M. Garza (10-7)

 

By Andrew Nuscis
Philadelphia Phillies & Tampa Bay Rays Correspondent


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