Rays
Rangers
7 - 4 Final
  for this game

Upton, Pena step up as Rays pound Rangers

Aug 18, 2008 - 4:48 AM By Jay Miller PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas (Ticker) -- B.J. Upton and Carlos Pena drove in three runs each as the Tampa Bay Rays cruised to a 7-4 win over the Texas Rangers on Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series.

The win helped the American League East-leading Rays finish their season-long 10-game road trip with a 7-3 mark and stretch their lead in the division to 4 1/2 games over second-place Boston (71-54), which lost to Toronto earlier in the day.

It also marks Tampa Bay's second straight winning road trip since the All-Star break and its second-most victories on any road trip in team history.

"I think that's big for us," said Upton, who finished the night a triple short of the cycle after manager Joe Maddon pulled him from the lineup on Friday and benched him Saturday for failing to run out a double-play ball during the series opener.

"It just shows everybody here is ready to play. We just (have to) do that for the next month or so."

After a scoreless duel through two innings, the Rays jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the third.

Gabe Gross opened the third with a double and scored on Upton's double two batters later. Following a single from Ben Zobrist, Upton and Zobrist each scored on Pena's three-run blast to give the Rays a 4-0 advantage.

Pena has 10 home runs in his last 22 games and 25 on the season.

Dustin Nippert (1-3), who became the 14th different starter for the Rangers this season, lasted just four innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits.

"I left some pitches up and they capitalized," Nippert said. "I just wanted to get as deep into the game as I could and give us a chance to win."

The 14 starters used through 125 games is three short of the team-record 17 starters that took the mound during the 1973 season and again in 2004.

Texas chipped away at the lead in the third inning with a two-out RBI double from Josh Hamilton that scored Brandon Boggs.

However, Tampa Bay stretched the lead to 7-1 when Upton followed a run-scoring single by Jason Bartlett in the fourth with his eighth home run of the year - a two-run shot - off Nippert.

"I got some good pitches to hit and I took advantage of it," Upton said. "I went up with the same approach I've had all season and I just happened to swing the bat good tonight."

That was enough offensive support for Rays starter Scott Kazmir (9-6), who overcame four walks with seven strikeouts, allowing two runs and four hits over six frames to end his four-game winless streak.

"(There's) definitely a lot I can take out of this start," Kazmir said. "I had a good outing."

Things got mildly interesting in the ninth when the Rangers plated two runs - including one on an intentional bases-loaded walk to Hamilton - and loaded the bases with two outs off relievers Juan Salas and Grant Balfour.

"In that situation, I can much more easily envision Hamilton tying it up than the alternatives," Maddon said. "It's his year. .. .I just didn't want to see him hit a grand slam there and screw up our (year)."

"That just shows the respect he (Maddon) has for Hamilton," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I was hoping that Hamilton would get the chance to swing the bat but Joe didn't let that happen."

However, Dan Wheeler struck out the only batter he faced, Marlon Byrd, to notch his fifth save and preserve the victory.

"I still felt good with Marlon up there," Washington said. "He had a couple pitches that he could have done something with; he just didn't do it."








  • AL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    TAMPA BAY 0 0 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 7 10 0
    TEXAS 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 2 4 7 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: TAM - SCOTT KAZMIR, CHAD BRADFORD (7TH), TREVER MILLER (8TH), JUAN
    SALAS (8TH), GRANT BALFOUR (9TH), DAN WHEELER (9TH) AND DIONER
    NAVARRO
    TEX - DUSTIN NIPPERT, KAM

    Aug 17 11:21 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    BASES LOADED WALK TO JOSH HAMILTON SCORED CHRIS DAVIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J HAMILTON ON FIRST, M YOUNG ON SECOND, B
    BOGGS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7
    TEXAS 4 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.291, 1-FOR-3, BB)

    Rays 7, Rangers 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsAug 17 11:15 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY BRANDON BOGGS SCORED JARROD
    SALTALAMACCHIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, B BOGGS ON FIRST, C DAVIS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7
    TEXAS 3 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M YOUNG (.289, 0-FOR-3, BB)

    Rays 7, Rangers 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsAug 17 11:10 PM
  • 15
    roots
    McTool Added 10 roots

    Rays 7, Rangers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 17 9:52 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TRAVIS METCALF (2) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF SCOTT KAZMIR.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7, TEXAS 2
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: I KINSLER (.320, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays 7, Rangers 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 17 9:43 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY B.J. UPTON (8) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF DUSTIN NIPPERT SCORED JASON BARTLETT.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 7, TEXAS 1
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B ZOBRIST (.239, 1-FOR-2)

    Rays 7, Rangers 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 17 9:24 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JASON BARTLETT SCORED ERIC HINSKE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J BARTLETT ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 5
    TEXAS 1 TOP, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: B UPTON (.265, 1-FOR-2, RBI)

    Rays 5, Rangers 1  Top 4, 0 OutsAug 17 9:22 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY JOSH HAMILTON SCORED IAN KINSLER.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J HAMILTON ON SECOND, B BOGGS ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4
    TEXAS 1 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR TEXAS: M BYRD (.290, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Rays 4, Rangers 1  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 17 9:09 PM
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    roots
    Yankee82 Added 5 roots

    Rays 4, Rangers 0  Bot 3, 0 OutsAug 17 8:59 PM


  • AL
    AT TEXAS - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY CARLOS PENA (25) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF DUSTIN NIPPERT SCORED B.J. UPTON AND BEN ZOBRIST.
    CURRENT SCORE: TAMPA BAY 4, TEXAS 0
    DUE UP FOR TAMPA BAY: C FLOYD (.263, 0-FOR-1)

    Rays 4, Rangers 0  Top 3, 0 OutsAug 17 8:52 PM