Rays score 4 in 8th to beat Lee, Rangers 6-4

Posted: 17/08/2010 in MLB

Rays rally past Rangers, gain first-place tie

Carlos Pena drove in the go-ahead run as  part  of a four-run eighth  inning as the  Tampa Bay Rays downed the Texas Rangers, 6-4, and moved into a tie for first place in the AL East.

Willy  Aybar drove in  two runs while Ben Zobrist went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the  Rays, who  have won three straight. David Price went six-plus innings and was  charged with two  runs on five hits with five walks and eight strikeouts. Lance  Cormier (4-3)  got the  win for  getting the  final out  in the  eighth inning.

With  the win and a loss by the Yankees to Detroit on Monday, Tampa Bay is now tied with New York for the top spot in the division with identical 72-46 records.

“It’s  an interesting win  and a big win,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon. “When you  beat the best pitcher in baseball in the eighth inning when he’s up, that shows  good things  about your team. Hopefully we will gain some momentum from this.”

Bengie Molina went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and Elvis Andrus added two  hits  and an  RBI for  the Rangers, who  have dropped  five of their last eight.  Cliff  Lee (10-6) was tagged  with the loss as  he gave up six runs on nine hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings.

“We  just didn’t  support Lee  tonight,”  said Texas  manager Ron  Washington. “There  were too  many outs that were  supposed to be outs that didn’t happen. That’s the game right there.”

Despite  the  loss in the  opener of a three-game  set, the Rangers still hold a healthy eight-game lead over the Angels for first in the AL West.

Texas  had taken  the lead with consecutive two-run innings in the seventh and eighth,  but the Rays rallied back. With one out, B.J. Upton doubled and Jason Bartlett followed with an infield single. Carl Crawford then hit a grounder to second, which saw Bartlett beat the force out at second and Upton score. Back-to-back  RBI  singles from  Evan Longoria  and Pena then  gave Tampa the lead. After  Sean  Rodriguez struck  out, Zobrist  shot a  single to  left for a 6-4 advantage.

Rafael  Soriano then  set the Rangers down  in order in the ninth for his 34th save of the season.

In  the  Texas third,  David Murphy  led off with  a double,  but the next two batters  struck out. Andrus then punched a single to right and Murphy tried to score, but he was nailed at the plate by Zobrist.

Lee  set  down the first  11 batters he faced  before Crawford singled to left with two outs in the fourth.

The Rays broke onto the scoreboard in the fifth. Pena led off with a walk, the first  to a  left-handed  batter  issued by  Lee  this  season, and  Rodriguez followed  with a single. A sacrifice bunt from Zobrist moved both runners into scoring  position and  Aybar followed with a single to bring home both runners for a 2-0 lead.

Texas  loaded the bases in the sixth, but it was with two outs and Jorge Cantu struck out to end the frame.

The  Rangers finally  got on board in  the seventh. Molina doubled to lead off the  frame and Murphy  followed with a walk to chase Price from the game. Chad Qualls  came on in relief and walked Brandon Boggs to load the bases for Mitch Moreland, who grounded into a double play to score one run. Andrus then hit an infield single to score Murphy and tie the game.

Texas  then took  the lead in the  eighth. Joaquin Arias led off with a triple and  Randy  Choate came on the  mound and promptly walked Josh Hamilton before handing  the ball  to Dan  Wheeler.  He induced  a double  play from  Vladimir Guerrero  that plated  the go-ahead run. Cantu, though, followed with a triple and Molina’s single off the top of the wall in left made it a 4-2 game.

– Stephen (DS LLC.)

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