Devil Rays 10, Rangers 8
Crawford had two triples, two doubles and three RBIs, and the Devil Rays hung on to beat the Texas Rangers 10-8 Tuesday night for Tampa Bay’s season-high fifth straight win.
“He could have had four triples,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said. “He had a big game.”
“I just tried to put the bat on the ball to get some runs,” Crawford said. “We needed every run.”
A native of Houston, Crawford said he feels relaxed whenever he plays in Texas.
“I like coming back to Texas,” Crawford said. “It feels like I’m back home.”
“We’ve got a lot of young kids we’re trying to develop,” Piniella said. “We’re playing hard and giving ourselves a chance to win.”
Gonzalez’s solo homer in the second—his sixth—stretched the Devil Rays’ advantage to 4-0.
Texas rallied with a two-run second on Matthews’ RBI single and Rod Barajas’ run-scoring double.
The Rangers took a 5-4 lead in the third, capitalizing on two walks by McClung followed by Blalock’s three-run shot, his 20th.
Tampa Bay went ahead 8-5 with a four-run fourth on Gonzalez’s RBI double, Crawford’s two-run triple and Cantu’s sacrifice fly.
“Our kids didn’t back off,” Piniella said. “They came out swinging.”
Young, who gave up seven runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings, hasn’t won since June 30.
Young has been unable to throw his breaking ball for strikes and opponents are waiting on his fastball.
“Players have hot and cold spells and I’m in a cold one,” Young said. “I need to get better and I will get better.”
Rangers manager Buck Showalter said Young, the only member of the team’s rotation at the start of this season who’s currently pitching, has put additional pressure on himself.
“He’s trying to keep his team in the game and he’s frustrated that he isn’t able to do that,” Showalter said.
The Devil Rays made it 9-5 in the sixth against reliever James Baldwin on Cantu’s RBI double.
Tampa Bay extended its lead to 10-8 in the ninth on Toby Hall’s RBI single.
A small fire on the roof of Ameriquest Field during the game—started by embers from a fireworks display—resulted in a visit from the local fire department and evacuation of a youth sports park inside the stadium. There were no injuries, according to Rangers media relations director Gregg Elkin. …Blalock has 16 homers at home. … Crawford had his fifth career two-triple game. … Young has lasted four innings or less in five of his last six starts. … McClung’s last start against Texas was on May 22, 2003, his final appearance before Tommy John surgery. McClung pitched only 3 1-3 innings and got a no-decision in a 10-8 Rangers victory. … Travis Lee of the Devil Rays left in the ninth after being hit in the right foot by a pitch from Kameron Loe. Lee is day-to-day.