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September 18, 2013

Rays 4, Rangers 3 (F, 12)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Desmond Jennings singled home Sam Fuld with one out in the 12th inning, and Tampa Bay snatched a 4-3 victory from the Rangers on Wednesday night.

The loss, the Rangers' eighth in nine games, dropped them a game behind the Rays in the wild-card standings, but they stayed a half-game ahead of Cleveland for the second berth as the Indians lost at Kansas City.

Jose Lobaton started the 12th with a single on an 0-2 pitch from Joseph Ortiz, and Fuld went to second on a bunt by Yunel Escobar. Jennings followed with a single to right and Fuld scored ahead of the throw from Alex Rios.

The Rangers were leading 3-2 in the bottom of the 11th with two outs and the bases empty, but saw Joe Nathan blow his third save of the season. They also had the go-ahead run at third with one out in the 12th, but Leonys Martin and Ian Kinsler couldn't get the run in.

Jeff Baker started the inning with a pinch double and moved to third on a bunt by Jurickson Profar two batters later. Profar took second base as Martin batted, but the center fielder lined softly to shortstop. Kinsler was next, and he struck out on three pitches.

Nathan, bidding for his 40th save, quickly retired Evan Longoria and Wil Myers to start the 11th, but walked Matt Joyce on a full count. Freddy Guzman ran for Joyce and stole second. He scored easily as David DeJesus singled up the middle on a 3-2 pitch for a 3-3 tie.

The Rangers had taken the lead in the top of the inning as Elvis Andrus scored from first base on a two-out bloop single by Adrian Beltre.

Andrus was hit by Roberto Hernandez pitch withe one out in the 11th, and Alex Rios followed with a popup to the catcher. Beltre followed and eventually dropped a blooper on a 3-2 pitch into right-center field with the Rays' outfield playing deep to prevent a double.

Andrus was running on the play, and he never stopped as rookie right fielder Myers threw to the cutoff man toward second base instead of throwing into the infield.

A pair of defensive miscues led to the game's first four runs, two for each club. The Rangers got theirs in the second against Chris Archer after Mitch Moreland collected a one-out double and Profar drew a two-out walk two batters later.

That brought up Martin, who ripped a line drive to center field that Jennings initial came in on before realizing that the ball would carry. But it dawned on him too late, and Moreland and Profar scored as the liner went to the wall for a two-run triple.

The Rangers had only two other hits against Archer and had just seven in the game.

Derek Holland held onto the lead until the sixth, when he allowed a one-out single to Wil Myers and was behind Delmon Young 3-0 in the count. But the slow-footed slugger swung 3-0 and hit a chopper to Andrus. He flipped to Profar to get Myers, who made a hard slide into second, but Profar's throw to first was wide and Young was safe.

Profar covered his head in disbelief, sensing that inning should have ended. Instead, Sean Rodriguez connected for a two-run homer two pitches later for forge a 2-2 tie.

Holland allowed only those two runs in six innings, and showed improvement over his previous three outings. But the no-decision left him winless since Aug. 4.

-- Jeff Wilson

 

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