The Rangers offense woke up last night, propelling Texas to an 8-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of the ALDS. With the victory, the Rangers have pulled even with the Rays as the series heads to Tampa.
Friday night, the Rangers offense couldn’t figure out Rays pitching. Matt Moore and Tampa Bay’s pen held Texas to only two hits and two walks over their shutout victory. This was supposed to be the easier matchup for the Rangers, taking on a guy not named Price, Shields or Hellickson.
It was James Shields who took the mound Saturday trying to make it more of the same for the Rangers. After a slow start, Texas was able to break through against ‘Big Game’ James, roughing him up for seven runs on eight hits over his five innings of work.
Tampa Bay went up early, scoring once in the first and twice in the fourth. Then, in the bottom of the next frame, the wheels started coming off on Shields.
Shields went on to hit a pair of batters in the fourth, with the second HBP forcing in a run. A wild pitch allowed another runner to score. In the end, the Rangers were able to put up a five spot using only three singles.
After a scoreless 5th, Shields surrendered back-to-back singles before his removal. Both of these runners came around to score on Ian Kinsler’s two RBI double.
Rangers starter Derek Holland wasn’t exactly sharp himself, but he did enough to earn the win. Texas appeared to be out in front for good until Koji Uehara gave up Evan Longoria’s third hit of the series, a three run shot. Longoria’s homer reduced the Rays deficit to one.
The Rangers added some cushion in the 8th, and their pen was able to close things out to preserve the victory.