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Rays 6, Rangers 2

The SportsXchange

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Tampa Bay Rays beat the reeling Texas Rangers 6-2 on Monday night at Tropicana Field, taking over first place in the American League wild-card standings.

Tampa Bay, which has won four of five since dropping 13 of 17, got a dominant outing from starter Alex Cobb and chased former Ray Matt Garza in a four-run fifth inning.

Rookie outfielder Wil Myers led the way offensively for the Rays, going 2-for-4 with a solo homer, a double and three RBIs. Evan Longoria and Ben Zobrist added three hits apiece.

That was more than enough for Cobb, who allowed two runs on six hits and struck out 10 over eight innings, sending the Rangers to their seventh straight loss.

Texas has dropped 13 of 15 games. This one got out of hand in the fifth when Tampa Bay broke a 2-2 tie by batting around.

David DeJesus led off the inning with a double to right then moved to third on Zobrist's single. James Loney knocked an RBI single down the left-field line, and Zobrist came around to score on Longoria's ground-ball single up the middle.

That did it for Garza, who allowed six runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings in his first start against his former team.

But the Rays were not finished as Myers drove in two more runs with a double to center field.

The Rays got to Garza first, as Myers continued his torrid stretch by drilling an opposite-field home run to lead off the second, his fourth homer in his last 13 games.

But after being retired in order through three innings, the Rangers bounced back in the fourth. Alex Rios reached on a fielder's choice, stole second, moved to third on a passed ball and came home on A.J. Pierzynski's two-out single to right field.

Tampa Bay regained a lead in the fourth, with Myers scoring on Desmond Jennings' sacrifice fly to left. Texas evened it up again in the fifth, however, on doubles by Mitch Moreland and Ian Kinsler.

NOTES: The Rangers held a players-only meeting prior to Monday's game to address their recent struggles. ... Rays RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) threw to hitters Monday afternoon for the first time since going on the disabled list. Crain, acquired from the White Sox before the trade deadline, has not pitched for Tampa Bay. If he feels fine Tuesday, Crain could join the Rays' bullpen as soon as Wednesday. ... Texas hasn't named a starter for Tuesday's game. ... Lance Berkman was in the Rangers' lineup at designated hitter, his first start since Sept. 3. ... The Rays now have six pitchers with 20 starts apiece, becoming the first American League team to do so since the 2001 Devil Rays.

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