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September 16, 2013

Rays 6, Rangers 2 (F)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Matt Garza allowed six runs in 4 1/3 innings against his former team, and a pair of questionable base-running decisions by Ian Kinsler thwarted the Rangers' offense in their seventh consecutive loss, this one 4-2 to Tampa Bay.

The win vaulted Tampa Bay one game ahead of the Rangers in the wild-card standings and moved the Rangers into a temporary tie with Cleveland for the second spot pending the outcome of the Indians' game at Kansas City.

Wil Myers started the scoring with a solo homer on Garza's first pitch of the second inning, and threatened again in the third when Ben Zobrist sent a liner to center with Yunel Escobar at second base.

Escobar was waved home, and Leonys Martin made yet another strong throw to cut him down and save a run.

The Rangers capitalized as A.J. Pierzynski singled home Alex Rios with two outs in the fourth. The hit saved the inning for the Rangers, who got a leadoff double from Kinsler. He was at third two batters later when he took off for home as Alex Cobb started his long full windup.

Kinsler, though, stopped, and Rios hit a grounder to third that turned into Kinsler getting tagged out in a rundown.

The Rays quickly countered the Rangers' run with one of their own on a sacrifice fly by Desmond Jennings, but the Rangers pulled even again in the fifth as Mitch Moreland doubled with one out and Kinsler doubled him home two batters later.

The Moreland double ended an 0-for-22 skid, but the inning ended as Kinsler was picked off trying to steal third.

Garza, though, again failed to shut down the Rays in their next turn, and they put the game out of reach. Garza retired Escobar to start the inning, but David DeJesus followed with a double and Zobrist singled. James Loney shot a soft liner down the third-base line to make it 3-2.

Evan Longoria followed with a liner to center, making it 4-2 and ending Garza's night. Myers was next, and he smoked a two-run double to center off Jason Frasor.

The Rangers' offense had only two hits the next three innings.

-- Jeff Wilson


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