6 - 8 Final
  for this game

Rangers hold off Rays to even series

Oct 2, 2011 - 4:14 AM Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Mike Napoli's two-run base hit highlighted a five-run fourth inning, and the Texas Rangers capitalized on some pitching mistakes from James Shields to earn an 8-6 victory to even their American League Division Series after two games.

The AL West champions were able to bounce back from a 9-0 defeat on Friday, thanks in part to three hit batsmen, including a pair in the pivotal fourth. Shields uncorked a wild pitch during a strikeout that plated the go-ahead run.

"It was very satisfying because Tampa has some great pitching over there, and pitching usually settles down a great offense," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "But we kept grinding and kept grinding, and I think we got our confidence back. Not that we ever lost it, but we don't usually go through games where we totally get shut down. And yesterday we got shut down for two hits and no runs, but we made some adjustments on Shields and we were able to get him."

Ian Kinsler had a two-run double in the sixth and Mitch Moreland knocked in two, including an insurance solo homer in the eighth.

Derek Holland (1-0) was charged with six hits and three runs -- one earned -- over five innings.

Shields (0-1) had six strikeouts over five-plus innings, but gave up eight hits and seven runs.

September 2011 was all about rallies for the Rays, who erased a nine-game deficit in the wild card race to nip Boston on the final day of the regular season after an incredible rally vs. the Yankees in regular season game No. 162.

On the first day of October, Tampa Bay nearly came back again with Evan Longoria, one of the heroes of the regular season finale, belting a three-run homer in the seventh inning to get the visitors within a run.

The rally, though, fell short as Mike Adams pitched a spotless eighth and Netfali Feliz worked around a one-out walk to B.J. Upton and picked up the save. Longoria and Ben Zobrist flied out to end the game.

Game 3 of the best-of-five series is Monday at 5:07 p.m. (et) at Tropicana Field. Colby Lewis is slated to pitch for Texas and David Price for the Rays.

Just like Friday, the Rangers fell behind early in the second game. A double by Upton with one out, a walk to Longoria and a two-out infield single by Johnny Damon loaded the bases. Elvis Andrus saved a run with a diving stop that resulted in Damon's hit, but Kelly Shoppach walked to force in a run. Sean Rodriguez grounded into a force play to end the frame.

Zobrist made a leaping catch and doubled Kinsler off first base in the bottom of the opening inning.

The Rangers should have gotten out of the fourth unscathed, but Holland threw wildly to first on a grounder from Casey Kotchman. Matt Joyce followed with a homer to right field.

Texas sent nine men to the plate in the bottom portion. Andrus was hit by a pitch and Josh Hamilton and Michael Young singled to fill the bases. Adrian Beltre was hit by a pitch on his left leg and Napoli lined a single to left to even the game.

"He was going along really well," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of Shields. "I thought he had some good stuff and nice tempo and rhythm about him, and all of a sudden a couple hit batters. That's really unusual. That's the part that was definitely out of character."

The runners advanced into scoring position after a wild pitch with one out. David Murphy then swung through a low pitch resulting in a strikeout, but the ball caromed off Shoppach and rolled away, allowing Beltre to come home for a 4-3 margin. Moreland's slow bouncer to shortstop plated Napoli.

"We've done it all year. We scrap away at runs and we play good team baseball and we all do it together," Napoli said. "We do good things. And, that inning showed. We all did it together and it put some good at-bats together and got it done."

Upton was caught stealing third in the next inning and the Rays wasted Kotchman's two-out double off Alexi Ogando in the sixth.

Kinsler's double to right in the bottom half against Juan Cruz came just after Jake McGee hit Moreland with a pitch to load the bases.

Koji Uehara surrendered Longoria's blast to left-center with nobody out in the seventh, prompting Darren Oliver to retire the ensuing three batters. Longoria's hit was the final one for the Rays.

Moreland added some breathing room with his shot to right off Brandon Gomes.

Game Notes

The result ended a 31-game streak by the Rays in which they were victorious when scoring at least five runs...Upton had three of Tampa Bay's nine hits...Texas won a Division Series home game for the first time in club history after having gone 0-7 in such contests before Saturday...The Rays have scored 10 of their 15 runs in this series with two outs.

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  • Kelly Shoppach bases loaded walk scored B.J. Upton with two out. On the play, Johnny Damon advances to second and Evan Longoria advances to third. Bases loaded with two outs and Sean Rodriguez due up.

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