American League Game Summary - Tampa Bay at Texas|
(Monday, April 8th)
Final Score: Texas 5, Tampa Bay 4
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - A.J. Pierzynski and Mitch Moreland hit back-
to-back home runs in the fourth inning and the Texas Rangers defeated the
Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, on Monday.
Elvis Andrus drove in two runs and Adrian Beltre hit an RBI double to help the
Rangers take the opener of this three-game set.
Texas starter Alexi Ogando (2-0) gave up one run on three hits and three walks
in 5 1/3 innings. Joe Nathan allowed one run in the ninth but still picked up
his second save of the season and the 300th of his career.
"They have a lot of guys on that team that have given me tough at-bats and
tonight was no different," Nathan said. "It was the tough part of their lineup
and they've seen me a lot in my career."
Jeremy Hellickson (0-1) allowed three runs on five hits and three walks for
the Rays, who were coming off a 13-0 loss against Cleveland on Sunday. Yunel
Escobar, Shelley Duncan and Sean Rodriguez had an RBI apiece in the setback.
Beltre doubled to left with two outs in the first, plating Lance Berkman.
In the second, Evan Longoria walked to lead off the inning and Matt Joyce hit
a single. Escobar followed with a fielder's choice to bring Longoria home.
Pierzynski and Moreland hit their home runs with two outs in the fourth to
give the Rangers a 3-1 lead. Pierzynski and Moreland were catalysts again in
the seventh, starting the inning with singles before Andrus knocked in two
runs for a 5-1 Texas advantage.
In the eighth, Desmond Jennings drew a leadoff walk from Michael Kirkman.
After a fly out by Rodriguez, Ben Zobrist and Longoria both hit singles,
loading the bases. Derek Lowe replaced Kirkman but walked Duncan to give the
Rays a run. Escobar then grounded out to third, but also brought Zobrist home,
cutting the deficit to 5-3.
In the ninth, Nathan allowed a single by Jose Molina, who then stole second
and advanced to third on a grounder by Jennings. Rodriguez then hit a single
into shallow center, plating Molina.
Zobrist was the next to bat, but he struck out on a controversial 3-2 pitch to
end the game. The ball not only appeared low and outside, but the call by home
plate umpire Marty Foster was delayed, prompting both Zobrist and manager Joe
Maddon to argue the call.
"It was a tough time to have a bad call," Zobrist said. "I just hope it
doesn't end up costing us the playoffs in the end. I know it's the first week
of the season. But every win is important."
Berkman walked three times ... Pierzynski is hitting .500 and has a .917
slugging percentage in five games at home ... Longoria was a perfect 3-for-3
with a walk ... The Rays were 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and
left eight runners on base ... Hellickson turned 26 years old, pitching on his
birthday for the second year in row. Last year, in his 2012 debut, he pitched
8 2/3 innings of shutout ball against the Yankees.
04/09 02:05:24 ET