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Tampa Bay Rays weekly report


The Rays on Wednesday turned it around against the Boston Red Sox, winning 8-5 to even the three-game series at one each. The Rays jumped in front 5-1, but the boys from Boston battled back, but a three-run explosion in the bottom of the eight sent the Tampa Bay fans home happy. Pat Burrell had an RBI single, and Evan Longoria followed with a two-run shot. Matt Garza started and reliever J.P. Howell (7-4) got the win with an inning of work, walking one and striking out two. Dan Wheeler pitched two-thirds of an inning for his second save.

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On Thursday, the Rays lost a chance to gain some ground in their 6-3 loss to the Red Sox. Evan Longoria went two for four, but it wasn't enough to enable the team to gain any ground. David Price (7-7) pitched five and a third innings, giving up six hits, four earned runs, one homer, walking two and striking out two.

On Friday, the Rays started a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers with a 4-3 loss. Jeff Niemann held the Tigers to one run over 7 2/3 innings, but the bullpen failed to hold on and gave up three runs in the top of the ninth. The Rays tried to come back and scored two in the bottom of the ninth and had the winning run in scoring position, but the Rays ran out of outs. J.P. Howell (7-5) took the loss, pitching two-thirds of an inning and giving up one hit, three earned runs, walking two and striking out two.

The Rays lost their third straight on Saturday, falling 8-6 to the Tigers. The Rays leaped out to a 6-3 lead after three innings behind James Shields, but the Tigers ralled for three in the seventh and two in the eighth as Shields struggled. Grant Balfour (5-4) took the loss, pitching one inning, giving up one hit, one earned run and walking one.

On Sunday, the Rays found themselves swept by the Tigers in their 5-3 loss. Wade Davis was brilliant in his big league debut, striking out nine in seven innings and ahead 3-1, but a Tiger four-run rally in the top of the ninth sent the Rays home in the loss column again. Russ Springer (0-3) took the loss. He pitched to three batters in the ninth, retiring none, giving up three hits, including a home run, and two earned runs.

On Monday, the Rays started their big four-game series with the New York Yankees with a Labor Day doubleheader, and it was a labor of futility for the Rays. In the first game, the Rays fell 4-1, but also lost Carlos Pena for the season to a hand injury. The sole scoring was an Evan Longoria homer in the top of the second. Matt Garza started and went seven innings, then Lance Cormier (2-2) took over and pitched one-third of an innings, giving up one hit, three earned runs, and walking two.

In the nightcap on Monday, the Rays again found themselves beaten by the Yankees 11-1 in their sixth straight loss. The Bronx Bombers' eight-run third inning finished off the sinking Rays. Andy Sonnanstine (6-9) pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, eight earned runs, one homer, walking three and striking out one.

The Rays just haven't been able to catch a break against the Yankees, and they fell 3-2 on Tuesday night, their seventh loss in a row. Starting pitcher David Price allowed three hits in six innings, and Evan Longoria had his sixth homer in 11 games, but the bullpen allowed a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to seal the defeat. Losing pitcher Dan Wheeler (4-4) threw a third of an inning, giving up a run on a homer.


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