Rapid Reaction: Rays 6, Rangers 2
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Texas Rangers' losing continues. They made it seven September defeats in a row with a 6-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday night at Tropicana Field.
The Rangers, who are 2-12 for the month, fell behind Tampa Bay for the first wild-card spot. They were holding onto the lead for the second spot, pending the final of the Cleveland-Kansas City game. If the Indians win, they'll pass the Rangers by a half-game.
|Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.
Garza struggles again: It's been a September to forget for Matt Garza, who couldn't produce a shutdown inning as the Rangers' offense tried to keep him in the game. Garza allowed a run in the third inning after a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Desmond Jennings gave Tampa Bay a 2-1 lead. The Rangers tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fifth, and after Garza struck out Yunel Escobar to start the bottom of the inning, the former Rays pitcher allowed four straight hits. David DeJesus had a double and Ben Zobrist, setting up the heart of Tampa Bay's lineup, singled. James Loney squibbed a single inside the third-base bag for a 3-2 lead. Evan Longoria followed with a single up the middle for a 4-2 lead. Garza's line was finished off when Wil Myers doubled off reliever Jason Frasor for two more runs.
Garza in September: The Rangers' big trade acquisition before the July 31 deadline has allowed 15 runs in 15 1/3 innings during the most crucial month of the season. That's with 22 hits and six walks.
Offense trying: They still can't get the big inning -- except for the bottom of the eighth in Friday's 9-8 loss to the A's -- but the Rangers' offense did at least tie the game twice. Trailing 1-0, Ian Kinsler led off the top of the fourth with a double. He moved to third on Elvis Andrus' sacrifice bunt. Kinsler was then trapped between third and home on a groundout to third by Alex Rios for the second out. But the Rangers still managed a run. Rios stole second, went to third on a passed ball and scored on Pierzynski's two-out single. With the go-ahead run at third, Lance Berkman struck out to end the inning. The Rangers tied the game again at 2-2 when Mitch Moreland ended an 0-for-22 stretch with a double to center field. He scored on Kinsler's double inside third-base bag. The inning ended when Kinsler was picked off second with Andrus, the Rangers' best hitter in September, at the plate.
Martin withe the assist -- again: Leonys Martin might have kept Garza from taking an earlier exit by coming up with his 14th outfield assist of the season. With a runner at second and one out in the bottom of the third, Zobrist ripped a single to center field and Martin came up firing, making a perfect throw home to nail Escobar at the plate to keep the Rays' lead at 1-0.
Watch out for Myers: Myers appears to be on his way to winning the American League Rookie of the Year award. He had a home run in the second inning for a 1-0 lead. He had the two-run double off Frasor in the fifth inning to break the game open and give Tampa Bay a 6-2 lead. Myers just missed a grand slam in the bottom of the sixth off Neftali Feliz as Martin ran down a towering fly ball at the base of the center-field wall for the third out of the inning.
Up next: The Rangers will try to end their seven-game losing streak when they send a pitcher to be announced, probably Alexi Ogando or Nick Tepesch, against Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson (11-8, 5.04 ERA) at 6:10 p.m. on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
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.