Rays Righty & Relievers Reign in Rangers

posted by Len Martez - 

ARLINGTON—Four Tampa Bay pitchers combined to limit Texas to two infield hits, as the Rays beat the Rangers 3-0 on Monday Night.  Rays right-hander Tyler Glasnow, who entered the game having allowed less than three runs in five of his eight starts with Tampa Bay, threw six innings while striking out six batters in picking up his first win in a Tampa Bay uniform.

Tampa Bay, who has won 12 of their last 15 games overall, started a seven game two-city road trip on Monday, trailing Oakland by seven games for the final wildcard spot. And the Rays wasted little time to get things started on the trip.  Outfielder Mallex Smith, who was on-base three times, reached on an infield single & took second on an error to start the game.  And after taking third on a single by outfielder Tommy Pham, Smith scored on the third hit of the inning, a single by designated hitter Ji Man Choi. Choi added to his RBI total in the sixth, when he drove a pitch from Rangers starter Adrian Sampson deep over the wall in center, for a solo home run & giving the Rays a 2-0 lead.

The two runs driven in by Choi were plenty for Glasnow, considering the Rays righty avoided any serious damage by Texas.  The Rangers threatened twice, but Glasnow struck out Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre to end the bottom of the first.  Then with two runners on again, Glasnow got Beltre to fly out to center to end the bottom of the sixth.  And in between those two innings, the Rays righty went the first four plus innings of the game before allowing a hit.  Glasnow’s effectiveness included needing just 35 pitches combined to get thru the second, third & fourth inning.

Texas catcher Isiah Kiner-Falefa beat out a groundball chopper to shortstop, giving the Rangers their first hit of the game with two outs in the fifth.  That hit & an infield hit by Nomar Mazara in the sixth were the only two hits Texas could manage. 

After Glasnow, three Rays relievers allowed just one base-runner in the final three innings.  First a pair of lefties, Adam Kolarek & Jose Alvarado each pitched a 1-2-3 inning.  Then closer Sergio Romo allowed a two out walk but struck out outfielder Willie Calhoun, to pick up his 22nd save in 29 chances & to close out the team's 13th shutout of the season.

The Rays, who are a major league best 21-5 since August 19th, try for their fourth straight win overall when the two teams play again on Tuesday night.  Lefty Blake Snell (19-5 2.03) will look to become the first 20 game winner in majors this year while the Rangers counter with righty Yovani Gallardo (8-5 6.67).  Coverage starts on 620 WDAE at 7pm with Steve Carney & The Inside Pitch.  First Pitch is at 8:10pm.

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