Rangers top Rays to earn series splitSep 20, 2013 - 6:31 AM St. Petersburg, FL (Sports Network) - A four-game series between Texas and Tampa Bay for control of the AL wild-card lead settled nothing.
The standings remained as they were prior to this set at Tropicana Field, with the Rangers and Rays tied at the top.
Elvis Andrus knocked in three runs, Craig Gentry had four hits with an RBI, and the Rangers earned a split with a critical 8-2 win on Thursday.
The teams have a half-game lead over Cleveland in the wild-card race. The Rangers clinched the season series for them at 4-3, giving them home-field advantage in the wild-card game if they finish with the same record as the Rays.
An anticipated pitchers' duel between Texas' Yu Darvish and the Rays' Matt Moore never materialized as both struggled on the mound.
"Neither guy was on top of his game tonight," Rays manager Joe Maddon said of the two starting pitchers.
Darvish (13-9), who had lost a career-high four straight starts, needed 109 pitches to complete five innings. The Japanese right-hander surrendered just two first-inning runs, but matched a personal worst with six walks.
Moore (15-4) lasted only four frames, allowing six runs -- five earned -- on seven hits. He struck out six and walked one in his first loss since June 14.
An RBI single by Alex Rios staked Texas to an early lead, but the Rays took advantage of Darvish's erratic control to move in front.
The outing began with a hit batsman for Darvish, who issued three two-out walks in a four-batter span. James Loney followed a free pass to Evan Longoria with an opposite-field double down the left-field line to score David DeJesus. Desmond Jennings forced in another run with a bases-loaded walk.
Texas, though, regained the lead with a power display in the third as Moore gave up solo homers to three of the first four batters. Mitch Moreland led off with a blast to left-center field, and Andrus and Rios clubbed back-to-back drives to left with one out.
"We're playing better baseball," Andrus said. "That's how we're looking right now. You can see how everything is starting to fall on track."
In the next inning, Gentry and Ian Kinsler, following a double steal, each scored when Andrus beat out a two-out chopper to short.
A two-out run-scoring single by Gentry made it 7-2 in the seventh, and Geovany Soto added a leadoff smash for Texas two innings later.
Darvish picked up his first win since Aug. 12. He had two no-decisions before the losing streak ... Gentry had three of the Rangers' five stolen bases ... Texas outhit the Rays 16-7 ... The Rangers were 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
- TEXAS: 8
TAMPA BAY: 2
Sep 19 10:58 PM
- Sam Fuld flied out to center to end the game.
Sep 19 10:52 PM
- Geovany Soto lead-off Home Run (8) to left. Craig Gentry due up.
Rangers 8, Rays 2 Top 9, 0 OutsSep 19 10:35 PM
- Craig Gentry single to center scored Adrian Beltre. Runner on first with two outs and Joey Butler due up.
Rangers 7, Rays 2 Top 7, 2 OutsSep 19 9:54 PM
- Elvis Andrus infield single to short scored Craig Gentry and Ian Kinsler with two out. Runner on first and Alex Rios due up.
Rangers 6, Rays 2 Top 4, 2 OutsSep 19 8:51 PM
- Alex Rios one-out, solo Home Run (17) to left. Adrian Beltre due up.
Rangers 4, Rays 2 Top 3, 1 OutSep 19 8:16 PM
- Elvis Andrus one-out, solo Home Run (4) to left. Alex Rios due up.
Rangers 3, Rays 2 Top 3, 1 OutSep 19 8:13 PM
- Mitch Moreland lead-off Home Run (23) to left center. Ian Kinsler due up.
Rangers 2, Rays 2 Top 3, 0 OutsSep 19 8:10 PM
- Desmond Jennings walk scored Evan Longoria with two out. Bases loaded and Jose Lobaton due up.
Rangers 1, Rays 2 Bot 1, 2 OutsSep 19 7:47 PM
- James Loney double to left scored David DeJesus with two out. On the play, Evan Longoria advances to third. Runners on second and third and Kelly Johnson due up.
Rangers 1, Rays 1 Bot 1, 2 OutsSep 19 7:41 PM
- Alex Rios single to center scored Elvis Andrus with one out. Runner on first and Adrian Beltre due up.
Rangers 1, Rays 0 Top 1, 1 OutSep 19 7:22 PM
- TEXAS: 0
TAMPA BAY: 0
Top 1, 0 Outs
Sep 19 7:12 PM
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