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Tampa Bay Rays weekly report


The Rays opened the week on a positive note with an 8-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles on May 13. Jeff Niemann evened his record at 3-3 behind the Rays' 15-hit attack. Jason Bartlett had three hits, including a second-inning shot and a bunt single in the eighth. Niemann pitched five innings, giving up eight hits and two runs.

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On May 14, the Rays rallied for six runs in the sixth inning, including a three-run homer by Ben Zobrist, against the Cleveland Indians after falling behind 9-0, but they couldn't overcome the Tribe's 18-hit attack, James Shield's tough start and spotty bullpen work. Shields (3-4) pitched five innings, giving up 10 hits and two earned runs, walking one and striking out five.

On May 15, the Rays overcame a 7-0 hole after 3? innings to defeat the Indians 8-7, the largest comeback in team history. Ben Zobrist hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and B.J. Upton slammed a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth. Dan Wheeler (1-0) notched his first win of the season.

On May 16, B.J. Upton hit his second homer in as many games and Jason Bartlett drove in two runs in the fifth as the Rays beat the Indians 4-2. Matt Garza (4-2) threw 120 pitches and held the Indians scoreless before giving up two runs in the sixth inning.

On Sunday, a lineup mistake cost the Rays their designated hitter, meaning pitcher Andy Sonnanstine had to bat and Evan Longoria had to ride the bench. Maybe it was a good thing, though, because the Rays beat the Indians 7-5, though Sonnanstine (2-4) allowed five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings. The pitcher helped himself at the plate, doubling in a run in Tampa Bay's five-run fifth inning.

On Monday, the Rays opened a four-game series against the Oakland Athletics with a 13-4 victory. Jeff Niemann (4-3) got the win behind the Rays' surge of power, including a six-run first inning in which the Rays batted around but got only two hits. Jason Bartlett had three hits, including a triple, and five RBIs, and Akinori Iwamura was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

On Tuesday, James Shields tossed 8 1/3 scoreless innings but it wasn't enough for the Rays, who lost 4-1 to the Athletics. Joe Nelson gave up a three-run homer in the top of the 11th inning and the A's added another run. Willy Aybar homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th, but that was it. Dan Wheeler (1-1) took the loss.


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