The Tampa Bay Rays opened their key four game series with the Texas Rangers by a final score of 6-2. The victory moves the Rays a full game ahead of the Rangers in the race for the top wild card spot. The Rays have now won 4 of their past 5 games.
Alex Cobb (9-3, 3.02 ERA) picked up the victory for the Rays. He worked 8 innings allowing 2R/ER on 6 hits striking out 1 and walking 1. He is developing into a stopper for the Rays as he improves his record to 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA (79.2 IP, 26 ER) in starts after a Rays loss.
The Rangers picked up Matt Garza (9-6, 4.06 ERA) from the Chicago Cubs to help carry the rotation through the dogs days of August and through September but he has not performed as well as the Rangers hoped.
After his initial two starts against the Yankees and Angels he has struggled (3ER/14.1IP). Over his last 8 starts (beginning August 1st) he has a record of 2-4 with an ERA of 5.18 and the opposition is hitting .275 against him.
Rangers starts haven’t fared much better of late. Entering tonight the rotation had gone 1-11 with a 5.32 ERA which was the third highest September ERA behind the Twins (6.11) and the Yankees (5.81) and had provided the second fewest innings behind the Colorado Rockies (62.0).
Garza’s performance against the Rays on Monday night will not help those numbers as he was charged with 6R/ER on 8 hits striking out 3 and walking 2 in just 4.2 innings of work.
Wil Myers had himself a game. He went 2 for 4 with his 13th home run, 3 RBI and 2 runs scored.
He opened the scoring for the Rays with a solo homer just inside the foul pole down the right field line. Most hitters would not have the strength to muscle a 95 mph fastball out of the park to the opposite field but Myers has that type of power.
With the scored tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the 4th inning Wil Myers scored the go ahead run on a sacrifice fly off the bat of Desmond Jennings.
The Rays erupted for 4 runs in the bottom of the 5th and again Wil Myers played a big part of the inning. David DeJesus opened the inning with a double and advanced to 3rd on a single by Ben Zobrist. James Loney duplicated Kinsler’s effort by hitting a dribbler down inside the 3rd base bag to score DeJesus and put the Rays up 3-2.
Evan Longoria put the Rays up 4-2 on a single that scored Ben Zobrist and James Loney moved up to 2nd base. Myers stepped to the plate and drove a ball to straight away center field for a double scoring both Longoria and Loney.
Myers had another opportunity to put the game away when he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 6th and once again drove a ball to straight away center field but this time he had a little more loft on it and Leonys Martin was able to haul it in.
From Rays Game Notes:
Myers entered the evening tied with Oswaldo Arcia of the Twins, Nick Franklin of the Mariners, and Conor Gillaspie of the Whites Sox for the rookie home run lead with 12. His home run in the 2nd puts him in the lead with 13. He entered the night leading all AL Rookies in RBI with 46 and increased that to 49.
Since he was called up on June 18th he has a chance to be the first player ever to lead AL rookies in homers and RBI while playing in less than 90 games.
The last player to lead rookies in HR in less than 90 games was Kevin Maas who hit 21 in 79 games with the New York Yankees in 1990. The last player to lead rookies in RBI in less than 90 games was Hoot Evers in 1946 who had 31 RBI in 81 games with the Detroit Tigers.