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April 29, 2012

Rays 5, Rangers 2 (F)

ARLINGTON -- Derek Holland allowed five runs in seven innings, and Josh Hamilton had to exit in the second inning with a stiff back as Tampa Bay beat the Rangers 5-2 and sent them to their first series loss of the season.

The Rangers had won a club-record six straight series to open the season, but five different Rays drove in runs against an inconsistent Holland.

Holland made the Rays looked overmatched in a 1-2-3 first inning that included an infield popup and two strikeouts. But he was exceedingly hittable in the second, an inning that started with four straight hits.

None was a cheap one, either, as Ben Zobrist tripled, Jeff Keppinger singled, and BJ. Upton and Luke Scott doubled. Even the first out, a sacrifice fly by Sean Rodriguez, took Nelson Cruz to the right-field wall.

The Rays would add another run in the third on two more hits before Holland settled down. He issued only two singles over the next three innings before Tampa Bay got him again in the seventh on a two-out double by Desmond Jennings.

Hamilton exited shortly after delivering an RBI single in the first. He felt discomfort exiting the batters box, but stayed in the game through the end of the second.

The Rangers trailed 4-2 after Elvis Andrus drove in a run in the fifth with an groundout, but David Price pitched into the seventh in beating the Rangers for the first time in his career.

Manager Ron Washington was ejected after the seventh inning as he came to the defense of second baseman Ian Kinsler, who had argued a called third strike.

The Rangers loaded the bases in the ninth inning with two outs, but Ian Kinsler lined out to the pitcher to end the game.

-- Jeff Wilson


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