Odor HR pushes Texas past AL wild card-leading Rays 10-9
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Rougned Odor hit a go-ahead, three-run homer and the Texas Rangers beat Tampa Bay 10-9 on Wednesday night to end a six-game winning streak by the Rays, who have the AL’s top wild-card spot.
Tampa Bay (87-60) had four runners thrown out on the bases and saw its lead over Oakland for the top wild-card spot trimmed to a half-game after the A’s won at Houston. The Rays had won 11 of their previous 12 games. Cleveland trails Tampa Bay by one game.
After their first seven-run first inning at home in 13 years, the Rangers didn’t score again until Odor’s 25th homer with two outs in the seventh off Nick Anderson, who had just had replaced Colin Poche (4-5).
Matt Duffy‘s two-out RBI single in the first gave the Rays a 2-0 lead. They tied the game at 7 on Ji-Man Choi‘s three-run homer in the second, and went ahead 8-7 when Duffy hit a sacrifice fly to deep center with the bases loaded in the fourth.
Anderson, the seventh of eight Tampa Bay pitchers, had just entered the game when Odor went deep.
Rookie right-hander Ian Gibaut (1-0), the fifth Texas pitcher, threw two scoreless innings for his first big league victory. Jose Leclerc worked the ninth for his 12th save in 16 chances despite giving up Choi’s second homer of the game that took just over four hours to play.
Tampa Bay’s first two pitchers – before Austin Pruitt came on to get the last out of the first inning – combined to throw 41 pitches before finally getting an out.
Nomar Mazara, back in lineup after missing seven games with a strained left oblique muscle, had an RBI single to tie the game at 2-all. The Rangers went ahead on a two-run single by Danny Santana to make it 4-2 before the first out, and Elvis Andrus had an infield RBI single that was his second hit of the 55-minute opening inning for a 7-2 lead.
It was the first time the Rangers had seven runs in a first inning since 14-7 win over Seattle in August 2006. It matched their most runs in any inning this season.
Tampa Bay began the second with three consecutive doubles before Choi’s 14th homer made it 7-all.
The Rays had runners caught stealing in the second and third innings, then had two more picked off in the seventh before Texas went ahead.
SIGNED AND SWINGING
Bayron Lora, one of the top international prospects, took batting practice after passing his physical with the Rangers. The 6-foot-3 outfielder from the Dominican Republic, who turns 17 on Sept. 29, had previously agreed to a $3.9 million signing bonus. Lora will now go to the Arizona Instructional League.
Rangers: All-Star slugger Joey Gallo (right wrist surgery) will work out with the Rangers through Friday, then go to Arizona for some simulated games and the Arizona Instructional League. If all goes well, he will be activated by Sept. 20 for the final nine games of the season. … RHP Jesse Chavez had surgery Monday to remove bone spurs from his elbow. He will begin a throwing program in about two months and should be fully ready for spring training.
A pair of rookie left-handers will be on the mound when Tampa Bay’s two-way Brendan McKay (2-3) makes his 10th start, and Kolby Allard (4-0) goes for the Rangers. Allard has won his last three starts, allowing only three runs in 18 1/3 innings over that span.
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