The Rays got off to a winning start for the week of April 22-28 with a 9-3 win over the Seattle Mariners. Jeff Niemann pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up three hits and two earned runs, walking two and striking out three, on the way to his first win of the season. Carl Crawford went 4-for-5 and scored three times in the Rays' 15-hit attack.
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On April 23, the Rays lost a close game, 1-0, to the Mariners. James Shields pitched 7 1/3 innings in a losing effort, giving up four hits and one earned run and evened his record at 2-2. Shields walked one and struck out four.
On April 24, Scott Kazmir (3-1) notched his third win of the season in an 8-2 victory over the Oakland Athletics. He pitched six innings and gave up two hits and no runs, walking three and striking out two. Carlos Pena went deep twice for the Rays.
On April 25, the Athletics beat the Rays 5-2. Matt Garza gave up four hits and four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six as his record fell to 1-2.
On April 26, the Athletics again beat the Rays 7-1, dropping Andy Sonnanstine to 0-3 on the year. He pitched four innings, giving up 10 hits, seven earned runs, walked two and struck out three.
On Monday, Jeff Niemann evened his record at 2-2 in a 7-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins. Carlos Pena hit his Major League-leading ninth homer of the year in the eighth. He also had a two-run triple in the first inning. Niemann pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three hits, one earned run, walking four and striking out four.
On Tuesday, the Rays fell to 8-13 with a loss to the Twins 4-3. Ben Zobrist's game-tying homer in the top of the ninth tied the game, but the Rays lost it in the bottom of the ninth. James Shields started for the Rays and gave up three runs in 6 2/3 innings, and J.P. Howell (0-2) took the loss.
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