Rangers
Rays
3 - 7 Final
  for this game

Kazmir sparkles as Rays beat Rangers in opener

May 27, 2008 - 3:39 AM ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (Ticker) -- Since Scott Kazmir returned from the disabled list, it hasn't taken the lefthander long to get back in the groove.

Kazmir struck out 10 and Eric Hinske homered as the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Texas Rangers, 7-3, on Monday.

The Rays (31-20) own the best record in baseball and are a franchise-record 11 games over .500. The Rays are the first team in modern major league history (since 1900) to own the best record through Memorial Day after having the worst record the season before.

Tampa Bay also is 16-1 in its last 17 home games.

"I don't even know what to say about (the best record in baseball)," Rays right fielder Carl Crawford said. "That's just something I always dreamed about. We just want to try to keep it going."

Since losing his season debut at Boston on May 4, Kazmir has won his last four starts, allowing just two earned runs in 26 innings while holding opponents to a .148 average (13-for-88).

"Everything felt good," Kazmir said. "Everything felt like it was going toward the plate. It's a big confidence boost to be able to thrown my slider as much as I did today."

Kazmir, who suffered a left elbow strain on February 26 and was placed on the 15-day DL March 29, wasn't activated until May 4.

"That's what we're used to see right there," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "He had it pretty much all going on against a really good offense. His delivery is back in order."

Against Texas, Kazmir (4-1) fanned the first four batters he faced and had seven strikeouts through three innings. He walked none.

The 24-year-old struck out at least one batter in every inning but the fourth and sixth.

"(Kazmir) was very good," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He kept us off balance, used his fastball up in the zone and threw his changeup. The team over there plays very well in this place."

Hinske's three-run shot - his ninth - to right in the fifth off Rangers starter Sidney Ponson spotted the Rays a 5-0 cushion.

"It was one of those days, you know, they were hitting the ball, finding holes," Ponson said. "The worst pitch I did was the three-run home run. I put the team in a big hole early and we didn't get out of it this time."

Ponson (3-1) lasted only five innings, tying his shortest outing this season. The righthander allowed five runs and a season-high 12 hits to go along with three walks.

Run-scoring singles from Carlos Pena in the first and B.J. Upton in the fourth gave Kazmir all the run support he needed.

Dioner Navarro added an RBI double in the sixth and Upton's sacrifice fly an inning later completed the scoring for the Rays.

"Kazmir has just been great his last four outings," Navarro said.

Ian Kinsler accounted for all three of the Rangers' runs. He had a sixth-inning sacrifice fly and a two-run homer in the ninth against Texas reliever Gary Glover.

The Rangers had a season-low three hits.

Every starter had at least one hit for the Rays. Pena and Navarro each went 3-for-4. Pena is 8-for-11 in his last four games.

"We had better at-bats, but we left way too many runners on base," Maddon said. "Seems to be B.J. and Carlos are hitting their stride right now."

The Rays, who had at least two hits in each of the first six innings, finished with 16 hits off Ponson and Josh Rupe.

"I just want to keep it up," Navarro said. "We're hitting at the right moments. That's how we're winning games."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TEXAS 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2 3 5 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 0 0 1 3 1 1 0 x 7 16 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TEX - SIDNEY PONSON, JOSH RUPE (6TH) AND GERALD LAIRD
    TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, AL REYES (8TH), GARY GLOVER (9TH),
    TREVER MILLER (9TH) AND DIONER NAVARRO

    HOME RUNS: TEX

    May 26 9:53 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY IAN KINSLER (7) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 9TH OFF GARY GLOVER SCORED RAMON VAZQUEZ.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 3, TAMPA BAY 7
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.282, 1-FOR-3)

    Rangers 3, Rays 7  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 26 9:47 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY B.J. UPTON SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C CRAWFORD ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TAMPA BAY 7 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.233, 2-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Rangers 1, Rays 7  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 26 9:17 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY DIONER NAVARRO SCORED EVAN LONGORIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, D NAVARRO ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TAMPA BAY 6 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E HINSKE (.259, 2-FOR-3, HR, 3 RBI)

    Rangers 1, Rays 6  Bot 6, 0 OutsMay 26 8:57 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY IAN KINSLER SCORED MARLON BYRD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R VAZQUEZ ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 1
    TAMPA BAY 5 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.283, 1-FOR-2)

    Rangers 1, Rays 5  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 26 8:45 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY ERIC HINSKE (9) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 5TH OFF SIDNEY PONSON SCORED CLIFF FLOYD AND DIONER NAVARRO.
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0, TAMPA BAY 5
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: J BARTLETT (.244, 0-FOR-2)

    Rangers 0, Rays 5  Bot 5, 0 OutsMay 26 8:35 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY B.J. UPTON SCORED AKINORI IWAMURA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B UPTON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    TAMPA BAY 2 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C PENA (.235, 2-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rangers 0, Rays 2  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 26 8:20 PM


  • AL
    AT TAMPA BAY - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CARLOS PENA SCORED CARL CRAWFORD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C PENA ON FIRST, B UPTON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 0
    TAMPA BAY 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: E LONGORIA (.246, 7 HR, 27 RBI)

    Rangers 0, Rays 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 26 7:26 PM
  • Silversword55 I think the Rays win

    Rangers vs. RaysMay 26 2:07 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Silversword55 Added 5 roots

    Rangers vs. RaysMay 26 2:07 PM