Friday, September 20, 2013
Rallying against the Rays.
Yu Darvish took the mound last night for Texas in St. Petersburg as they took on the Rays. Lately Yu's appearances have meant low scoring losses for the Rangers. Last night was different though as it was Yu who was struggling, not the offense. Darvish clawed his way through five innings before Ron Washington turned the game over to the bullpen. In spite of not having his best stuff, Darvish managed to give up just two runs to Tampa Bay. That's all they would get.
Meanwhile, Texas opened the scoring with a run in the first. In the third Mitch Moreland led off with a solo home run to tie the game. Rays starter Matt Moore got Ian Kinsler and that brought up Elvis Andrus, shown here on 2010 Topps Chrome Orange Refractor #87. Elvis followed Moreland's example and hammered a shot into the bleachers. Just his fourth long ball of the season and the second of the series. Good time for the power-lacking shortstop to find his home run swing. Alex Rios followed Andrus to the plate and also went deep.
Moore coughed up two more runs in the fourth but made it through the inning. Both of those runs scored on an infield single by Andrus. That was enough for Rays manager Joe Maddon. He didn't let Moore go back out for the fifth. The Rays bullpen took over with the score 6-2 in Texas' favor.
While the Rangers pen was perfect, the Rays did manage to slow down the Texas offensive onslaught. One run in the seventh and a Geovany Soto solo homer in the ninth rounded out the Rangers scoring. Final: 8-2 Texas.
This victory could prove to be crucial. It puts the Rangers back in a tie for the first Wildcard spot. In the event of a Wildcard tie with the Rays it will give them home field advantage because they won the season series between the teams. Hopefully it's also the sign of life the team needs going into the final sprint to the finish.