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Kluber Leads Rays To Split With Rangers

photo: Will Vragovic/Tampa Bay Rays

Corey Kluber allowed just a single run in six innings of work, and Rays hitters scored three times in the first three innings against Taylor Hearn, helping Tampa Bay finish off their four-game series with the Texas Rangers with a split, taking Thursday afternoon’s finale 3-1.

After not having a lead in the series until the tenth inning of Wednesday night’s game, the Rays used a pair of extra-base hits to jump out to an early lead Wednesday, with Francisco Mejia leading off the top of the second with a double and Vidal Brujan driving him in with a ground-rule double three batters later.

Tampa Bay would add on an inning later, with Manuel Margot drawing a one-out walk from Hearn, moving to third on a base hit by Harold Ramirez, and scoring on a single from Yandy Diaz.  Mejia then drew a walk, his first of the season to load the bases, and Isaac Paredes forced in a run by taking a free pass as well.

Those runs would be plenty for Kluber, who worked out of a jam in the first, then settled in until the sixth, when Marcus Semien hit a solo homer, his second of the season, to give Texas its only run.

Rays manager Kevin Cash would end up using five relievers to get the final nine outs of the game, with Jason Adam and Brooks Raley combining to put up a zero in the seventh, Shawn Armstrong and J.P. Feyereisen following suit in the eighth, and Ryan Thompson working a perfect bottom of the ninth to earn his third save of the season.

The win gets Tampa Bay back to a season-best nine games over .500 on the year at 30-21.

The Rays return home to start the next homestand Fridat with the forst of three games against the Chicago White Sox.  Shane McClanahan (5-2, 2.01 ERA) will get the start, taking on Vince Velasquez (2-3, 5.30 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 7:10.

Written By

Steve Carney is the founder and publisher of St. Pete Nine. One of the people most associated with baseball coverage in Tampa Bay, he spent 13 seasons covering the Rays for flagship radio station WDAE, first as producer of Rays Radio broadcasts, then as beat reporter beginning in 2011. He likes new analytics and aged bourbon, and is the owner of one of the ugliest knuckleballs ever witnessed by baseball scouts.

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