St. Petersburg, FL – The Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 4-0 in front of 19,704 at Tropicana Field in the first of a best of three wild card matchup. The loss puts the Rays on the brink of elimination.
Normally a sure handed group, the Rays committed a postseason franchise high four errors. In addition, Yandy Diaz, Jose Siri, and Curtis Mead each had a ball hit to them that should have been an out but plays weren’t made.
“We didn’t play a very clean game in any facet. We didn’t hit, pitch or defend.” Rays Manager Kevin Cash said. “When going up against a good team, they are going to capitalize on it and eventually they did.”
Jordan Montgomery (1-0, 0.00 ERA) worked seven scoreless innings allowing just six hits while striking out five and walking none. Aroldis Chapman worked a scoreless eighth and Jose LeClerc worked a scoreless ninth to preserve the Rangers victory.
Tyler Glasnow (0-1, 5.40 ERA) takes the loss for Tampa Bay. Chris Devenski, Jake Diekman, and Andrew Kitteridge followed Glasnow.
Glasnow wasn’t really sharp as noted by his five walks on the day. “He picked up his strikeouts because his stuff is so good.” Cash said. “I don’t think he executed and commended the fastball as he was hoping to. Texas did a good job of waiting him out and driving up his pitch count.”
For his part, Glasnow remarked that he “just kind of got ahead of myself and not executing his pitches.”
The postseason slumber for the Rays offense continued. Last season the Rays were eliminated by the Cleveland Guardians in the Wild Card round. In that series Tampa Bay scored just one run in the two games spanning 24 innings.
Texas scored first in the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Josh Jung tht scored Nate Lowe.
Tampa Bay had a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the second. Curtis Mead singled to lead off the inning and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Manuel Margot. Taylor Walls infield single moved Curtis Mead to third. Jose Siri attempted the safety squeeze but popped the bunt to a diving Jordan Montgomery. Rene Pinto struck out to end the threat.
The Rays had another opportunity to tie the game in the third but Montgomery stranded Randy Arozarena who delivered a 1-out double at third to end the threat.
The Rangers extended their lead in the fifth inning to 2-0 but it could have been much worse. Corey Seager led off the inning with a double off Jose Siri’s glove. It was another Rays defensive miscue as it was certainly a ball that Siri normally catches.
Robbie Grossman walked and Adolis Garcia lined an infield single at 109.9 miles per hour that hit Glasnow on the back of his left leg.
Glasnow retired Nate Lowe on a popup to third baseman Isaac Paredes for the first out but uncorked a wild pitch scored Seager from third. After walking Jonah Heim, Glasnow struckout Leody Tavares and Josh Jung to limit the damage to just one run.
Glasnow came out to open the sixth inning but departed after walking Evan Carter and Marcus Semien. Chris Devenski was greeted with a single by Corey Seager scoring Evan Carter. Jose Siri uncorked a throw over third baseman Isaac Paredes head to allow Semien to score and Seagar to advance to third.
To his credit, Devenski limited the damage, retiring the next three hitters and stranding Seager at third.
Tyler Glasnow had to dance out of trouble on several occasions as the Rays defense committed three errors behind him. He was knocked out after walking a pair of batters in the sixth. His final line was 5.0+ innings four runs (three earned) allowing six hits striking out eight, walking five, and throwing a wild pitch.
Chris Devenski worked two innings and wasn’t charged with an earned run but did allow both inherited runners to score.
Jake Diekman entered the game in the eighth inning and Evan Carter doubled off the glove of Yandy Diaz to open the inning. Diekman worked out of the jam and kept it a 4-0 deficit.
The Rays will hope to stave off elimination Wednesday afternoon at 3:08 p.m. EST. Zach Eflin will take the mound for Tampa Bay. The Rangers looking to end the Rays season will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound.