Rapid Reaction: Rays 2, Rangers 0
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers struggled against Rays left-hander Matt Moore, who allowed only one hit -- but did walk six -- in 5 1/3 innings as Tampa Bay avoided a sweep with a 2-0 victory on Wednesday afternoon at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
Can't hit Moore: Moore, who pitched seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS to beat Texas, went 5 1/3 shutout innings with five strikeouts in his first regular-season start against the Rangers. He was wild on this cold day, walking six, but the Rangers couldn't taken advantage.
Holland's tough luck: Rangers starter Derek Holland allowed two runs for the second straight start and settled for his second consecutive no-decision. The Rangers won Holland's first start, beating the Angels 3-2. This time Holland got zero run support. He paid for three walks in the third inning, though he was able to minimize the damage to one run. The Rays manufactured a run in the fifth inning when Desmond Jennings hit a leadoff doubleand moved to third on a ground ball by Sean Rodriguez. A sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria gave the Rays a 2-0 lead.
Missed chance: Mitch Moreland had the bases loaded and a 2-0 count with the Rangers trailing 2-0 in the bottom of the sixth, but he hit a grounder to second baseman Kelly Johnson for a double play to end the inning. Jeff Baker slid out of the basepath at second while trying to break up the play, causing Moreland to be called out and keeping Nelson Cruz from scoring.
Missed chance No. 2: Adrian Beltre singled and David Murphy lined a double down the right-field line to give the Rangers two runners in scoring position with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Manager Ron Washington went to Leonys Martin as a pinch hitter against right-hander Joel Peralta. Martin flied out on a shallow fly ball to right field, and Beltre was thrown out easily at home plate on a perfect throw by Rays right fielder Ben Zobrist.
Series streak: The Rangers lost Wednesday but still won their third straight series to open the season. It's the third straight year the Rangers have started out with three series wins in a row. The club record to start the season is six straight, set last year.
Frigid afternoon: The game-time temperature for Wednesday's game was 39 degrees, the coldest for a day game at Rangers Ballpark and the second-coldest for any home game at the ballpark. The Rangers and Red Sox started a night game on April 7, 2007 at 38 degrees. The start of the game was delayed by a one hour, 29 minutes because of rain.
Up next: The Rangers begin a four-game series at Seattle with right-hander Justin Grimm replacing Matt Harrison in the rotation for Thursday's opener. Mariners ace Felix Hernandez (1-1, 2.57 ERA) will oppose Grimm. First pitch is at 9:10 p.m. on FSSW and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.