Game 130: Evan Longoria Leads Barrage, As Rays Win 8-4

By David Hill

In the early going, this game had all the makings of being a rout for the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rangers fought back, but the Rays were able to hold on for the 8-4 victory.

The Rays scored three runs in the first, highlighted by a two run home run by Evan Longoria. They followed up with another three run inning in the second, as B.J. Upton hit a three run shot with one out, putting the Rays up 6-0 midway through the second. The Rangers clawed back, as Mitch Moreland‘s two run home run cut the lead to 6-2.

The Rangers scored again in the third and in the fifth, cutting the lead to 6-4 and ending the night for Alex Cobb. Cobb, who had been 4-0 with a 3.03 ERA for the month of August prior to tonight, gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 8 hits and a walk. He did strike out three batters in his 4.2 innings of work, but was unable to qualify for the victory.

Elliot Johnson led off the top of the sixth with his fifth home run of the year, driving a 1-0 pitch to deep left to put the Rays back up by three. Following a base hit by Jose Molina and a fielder’s choice, Rangers starter Matt Harrison was removed from the game. Harrison was shelled, giving up 7 runs on 12 hits, including 3 home runs, and a walk over his 5.1 innings of work. The Rays added another run in the top of the ninth, as Longoria hit his second home run of the game, giving the Rays a 8-4 lead.

Tampa’s bullpen did excellent work, giving up only one hit over the last 4.1 innings to preserve the victory. Jake McGee picked up the win, recording a strikeout in his perfect inning of work. Ben Zobrist was 3-5 with a double, a run scored, and an RBI. Longoria, Upton, and Desmond Jennings each had two hits.

Game Notes: Longoria’s two home run game was the first multi-homer game for him in almost a calender year – August 26, 2011. Harrison has made two starts against the Rays this season, and has given up seven runs in both.