Coming into Monday night’s game tied with the Rangers for the AL Wild Card lead, it was essential that the Rays be able to deliver clutch hits. Myers lead off with a solo shot in the second inning, giving the Rays a 1-0 lead. The Rangers answered in the fourth inning as Alex Rios’ run tied the ballgame.
Later in the fifth inning, with the scored tied 2-2, the Rays put pressure on an already faltering Garza, scoring two runs before Garza was removed from the mound. Later, Myers hit a two-run double off Rangers reliever Jason Frasor, giving the Rays a solid 6-2 lead by the end of the inning.
Alex Cobb dazzled in the first inning as he struck out the first three batters. The second inning was a little shaky for Cobb as his fastball command weakened and he delivered only one strikeout. However, his teammates backed him up with some crucial defensive plays to hold the Rangers at only two runs. Evan Longoria delivered by catching Ian Kinsler in a rundown while trying to steal home in the fourth inning. Cobb wowed again as he struck out three of the four batters he faced in the sixth inning.
Overall, Alex Cobb threw ten strikeouts in eight innings, while giving up six hits and one walk. Reliever Jamey Wright retired three batters in a row in the ninth inning to finish the game for the Rays.
Texas’ Matt Garza lasted only 4.1 innings against his former team, giving up 9 hits, 6 runs, and throwing only three strikeouts. The Rangers pitching staff as a whole had five strikeouts and gave up 12 hits and three walks.
Wil Myers went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI, while scoring two runs. His homer in the second inning was his 13th of the season, giving him the most homeruns among AL rookies.
The Rays will face the Rangers three more times during this four game series at Tropicana Field, with Jeremy Hellickson expected to start Tuesday night for Tampa Bay.