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Rays 5, Rangers 9: Rough night for Ras

A less-than-ideal start from Drew Rasmussen and a less-than-ideal relief appearance from Ryan Thompson gave Texas a big lead.

Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers Photo by Tim Heitman/Getty Images

The Rays are in Arlington and facing the Texas Rangers in the first game of a four-game series. Drew Rasmussen is on the mound for the Rays against right-handed pitcher Glenn Otto.

Wander Franco drew the first walk of the game with one out in the first inning after Kevin Kiermaier grounded out to start things off. Randy Arozarena was hit by a pitch, and both runners moved up on a Ji-Man Choi flyout, which would have been a three-run home run had it not been spectacularly robbed by Eli White. Francisco Mejia struck out looking to end the inning.

The bottom of the first was less than ideal for Drew Rasmussen. He walked three-straight Rangers (with two wild pitches in the mix) and allowed two runs to score on a Kole Calhoun single. That was when Rasmussen turned it around, striking out the next two batters and getting an inning-ending flyout.

Taylor Walls drew a leadoff walk to start the second inning, and Isaac Paredes moved Walls to third with a one-out double. Vidal Brujan hit a sacrifice fly, cutting the Texas lead in half and putting the Rays on the board. Kevin Kiermaier grounded out to end the inning. The Rangers added two more runs in the bottom of the second after Josh Smith single and Eli White homered.

The top of the third was quiet for the Rays, with the offense going down in order. The bottom of the third saw Texas add their fifth run of the game on a Jonah Heim solo home run. The third inning would be Drew Rasmussen’s last, as Matt Wisler would take over in the bottom of the fourth. Rasmussen allowed five runs on five hits, walked three and struck out three, throwing 67 pitches.

Vidal Brujan got the fifth inning started with a single, but was out on a Kevin Kiermaier grounder. Kiermaier was able to make it to second on a throwing error, and he scored when Wander Franco singled to make it 5-2. The Rays weren’t able to add any more, but on a positive note, Matt Wisler stayed out and pitched a scoreless inning.

The sixth was a quick up and quick down for the Rays offense, but not for the Rangers offense. Ryan Thompson was brought in to pitch, and he allowed three-straight singles to start the inning off, giving Texas a 6-2 lead. Mitch Garver doubled to bring home two more runs, and send home Ryan Thompson. Ralph Garza took the mound, allowing another run on a Kole Calhoun double before finally getting the Rays out of the sixth, making it 9-2.

The Rays finally put together a solid inning in the top of the seventh. Matt Moore entered the game to relieve Otto. Isaac Paredes led off with a double to center, and Vidal Brujan followed that up with a walk, putting two runners on for Kevin Kiermaier. Kiermaier finally put the ball in the air, hitting a single to left and scoring Paredes. Wander followed that up with a single of his own, making it 9-4.

Randy singled and brought home Kiermaier, putting the fifth Rays run on the board before the first out in the inning was even recorded. Unfortunately, Dennis Santana was brought in to replace Moore, and he set the next three batters down to escape the jam.

Garza stayed in to work the seventh, and needed only 11 pitches to set the Rangers down with a strikeout and a double play. Matt Bush entered in the top of the eighth, and he made quick work of the Rays offense, not allowing them to repeat their last inning, striking out two and throwing 10 pitches. Thankfully, Garza threw a 1-2-3 inning, sending this one to the ninth.

The ninth started with Joe Barlow entering and quickly striking out Kevin Kiermaier. Wander Franco singled to right, but hurt himself while running to first, having to leave the game. Yandy Diaz pinch-ran for Wander, and quickly moved up to second after Randy singled up the middle. Harold Ramirez line out to left for the second out, and Francisco Mejia grounded out to end the game.

The Rays drop the series-opening game against the Rangers after disappointing performances by Drew Rasmussen and Ryan Thompson. They’ll look to even the series up tomorrow night against Rangers starter Martin Perez. First pitch is scheduled for 8:05 pm, and the Rays starting pitcher is to be determined.