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Tampa Bay Rays weekly report


The Rays on Wednesday got a split in their two-game series with the Seattle Mariners, winning 5-4. B.J. Upton had three RBIs, including a game-winning two-run single in the eighth, to power the attack after the Mariners jumped out 4-0 after 5? innings. Russ Springer (1-4) got the win with a third of an inning pitched and one hit given up. Randy Choate pitched an inning for his fifth save.

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On Friday, the Rays opened a three-game series against the Texas Rangers with an 8-3 loss. Gabe Kapler kicked off a three-run third inning with a solo homer, his seventh of the season, and Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist added RBI singles to tie the game, but the offense took a break as the Rangers added late runs to win it. Starter James Shields (10-12) pitched seven innings, giving up seven hits, five earned runs, one homer, walking two and striking out seven.

The Rays on Saturday jumped out to a 3-1 lead over the Rangers after four innings, and then the roof fell in as the Rangers plated 11 runs in the bottom of the fifth in an epic pitching meltdown that saw the Rays defeated 15-3. Jason Bartlett doubled in the second to drive in a run and Greg Zaun had a solo homer in the fourth, but that was it. Matt Garza (8-11) started and pitched 4 2/3 innings, giving up six hits, seven earned runs, two homers, walking three and striking out eight. Jeff Bennett came on in relief of Garza and pitched to seven batters without retiring any of them. He give up five hits, five earned runs and walked two.

On Sunday, the Rays managed to avoid a sweep by the Rangers with a dramatic 7-6 win. Down 5-0 in the top of the eighth, the Rays plated three and then four in the top of the ninth, and the bullpen saved it. Back-to-back RBI singles by Ben Zobrist and Willy Aybar started the comeback, and Zobrist singled with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to tie the game. Randy Choat (1-0) got the win with an inning pitched, giving up one hit, one earned run, one homer and striking out one. Lance Cormier got his second save of the season.

Maybe it's Groundhog Day come early, but the Rays won 7-6 over the Baltimore Orioles on Monday, their second straight 7-6 win. Down 6-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Willy Aybar tied the game with a three-run blast and Pat Burrell hit a sac fly in the eighth to put the Rays ahead for good. Gabe Kapler, Ben Zobrist and Evan Longoria went deep as the Rays have hit a club record 193 home runs this season. Randy Niemann started and Lance Cormier (3-3) got the win with an inning pitched, giving up one hit and striking out one. Grant Balfour pitched a third of an inning for his second save.

The Rays on Tuesday again showed the Orioles who's the boss with a 3-1 win. Carl Crawford stole second base in the first inning, setting the franchise record for steals in a season. Willy Aybar had three hits and one RBI. Wade Davis (2-1) got the win, pitching 7 innings, giving up seven hits, one earned run, walking three and striking out three. Grant Balfour got the last two outs, striking out one, for his third save.


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