While the Rangers can boast about playoff experience, their roster loaded with veterans, a couple of big differences in the game were provided by youthful Rays, as Alex Cobb struck out ten and allowed just two earned runs over eight innings and rookie Wil Myers went 2-for-4 with a double, his 13th home run, two scores and three RBI.
Myers got the Rays on the board first, with a solo shot in the second inning, then put the Rays back in front, 2-1, in the fourth, scoing on a sac fly by Desmond Jennings. He also delivered a two-run double in the decisive fifth inning when the Rays plated four, taking the lead for good and giving their starter some breathing room.
The Tampa Bay win put the Rays in the enviable position of claiming the first wild card, a game better than the Rangers, who now have lost seven straight in a mid-September collapse.
Game two of the series is slated for 7:10 pm EDT in Tampa.
AL Wild Card Standings
|NY Yankees||-2 1/2|
|Kansas City||-2 1/2|
St. Louis dropped a 6-2 decision in Colorado, while the Pirates were being limited to one hit by journeyman hurler, Andrew Cashner, en route to a 2-0 San Diego win that was Cashner's first complete game shutout in a three-year major league career.
Cashner had a perfect game spoiled by Jose Tabata, who singled leading off the Pirate seventh, but was erased an out later when Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Cashner maintained his cool, setting down the final six in order, completing the one-hitter by pitching to the minimum 27 batters. He did not walk anyone, nor were there any errors, passed balls, wild pitches or hit batsmen. Improving to 10-8 on the year, Cashner threw 67 of 97 pitches for strikes. He struck out seven, got 13 hitters on fly balls and seven on grounders.
Pittsburgh will try to get a few more hits when they host the padres in game two of the four-game series, Tueday night at 7:05 pm EDT.
Today's Trivia: The 2004 and 2005 World Series were both won 4-0 by the AL teams. Which teams were they and which NL teams did they defeat? (answer tomorrow)
Yesterday's Answer: Lou Gehrig is fifth all-time in on-base percentage, at .4474. Ty Cobb is ninth (.4330) and Jimmie Foxx 10th, at .4283.