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September 07, 2012

Rays 3, Rangers 1 (F, 11)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Derek Holland pitched brilliantly for eight innings, striking out a career-high 11, but Ben Zobrist swatted a two-run homer off Mark Lowe with no outs in the 11th to send Tampa Bay to a 3-1 victory over the Rangers.

The Rays' rally started with Upton drawing a leadoff walk from Lowe (0-1), who fell behind 2-0 in the count to Zobrist. The next pitch landed in the right-field seats.

The Rays' walk-off win spoiled Holland's longest and perhaps best outing of the season, and threatened to trim the Rangers' lead in the American League West to 4 1/2 games over Oakland.

Holland allowed only two hits, but one was a homer by Evan Longoria on the only bad pitch Holland made all night. The solo homer, deep into the left-field seats on a 3-1 pitch, was the first hit the Rays and provided the game's first run.

Longoria has 26 career at-bats, including the postseason, against Holland, and has 11 hits and four homers.

The Tampa Bay lead, though, lasted roughly five minutes. Young battled Jeremy Hellickson for eight pitches before driving the ninth just over the left-field fence to knot the score.

It was Young's seventh homer of the season, but his fourth in the Rangers' past nine road games and his third in five games on this trip.

Holland kept the game tied as Tampa Bay never threatened against him. He allowed only a two-out single to B.J. Upton in the sixth and a one-out walk to Chris Gimenez in the eighth before exiting after 116 pitches.

The Rangers escaped a 10th-inning jam, which started with a Ben Francisco single off Michael Kirkman. Ryan Roberts failed to put down a sacrifice bunt, but Jose Molina followed with a bloop single to right.

Kirkman caught pinch-hitter Elliot Johnson looking before manager Ron Washington turned to Tanner Scheppers to get Desmond Jennings, who flied out to end the threat.

The Rangers' offense was almost as silent as the Rays' after Young's homer. David Murphy followed with a walk, but Hellickson and four relievers retired the next 17 Rangers hitters before Murphy started the 11th with a single.

But Mitch Moreland and pinch-hitter Jurickson Profar struck out, and Murphy was caught stealing to end the inning.

-- Jeff Wilson

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