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Rays 3, Rangers 5: Rays bested by Rangers thanks to late-inning blast

We can’t call it a comeback, because they never came back.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

While the Rangers remain a thorn in the side of the Rays, there were lots of positives in this game, with a really solid performance from Taj Bradley managing to keep some very mighty bats quiet. Things looked different after he left the game, that’s for sure, but hey, I’ll take that little silver lining.

First inning was a quiet 1-2-3 on both ends. Second inning saw old friend Nathan Eovaldi struggle a little. Randy Arozarena doubled to start things off, then advanced to third on a Brandon Lowe groundout. Ramirez walked, then Josh Lowe walked, but sadly none of them were able to score. Bottom of the inning Bradley gave up a two-out single to Heim. Jankowski then singled, but neither runner scored.

Eovaldi had a 1-2-3 top of the third. Bradley gave up a one-out solo home run to Semien in the bottom of the inning, his only real mistake that inning, but it gave the Rangers the 1-0 lead.

In the fourth Eovaldi was once again clean through the side. In the bottom of the inning Bradley only allowed one baserunner in a walk from Jung. No runs scored.

The fifth saw Ramirez take a really painful-looking hit-by-pitch to the shoulder. Unfortunately, the Rays could not convert the free baserunner into a run. The bottom half saw more good work from Bradley as he gave up only a two-out single to Semien.

Onward to the sixth and Raley got a one-out single. Paredes got a walk, but the Rays couldn’t score a run. In the bottom half, Bradley gave up and single to Nate Lowe, then Garcia walked, and that was it for Bradley. His final line for the day was 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR on 95 pitches. Really nice work honestly. He would, unfortunately, be on the line for what happens next, so don’t wonder why I say “2 ER” because y’all are about to find out. Stephenson came on in relief and got two outs before a Jankowski double scored Lowe. Rangers ended the inning up 2-0.

Top of the seventh Jose Lowe got a one-out single, then a Mejia double brought Lowe in and put the Rays on the board. Diaz drew a walk. Franco then grounded into a double-play, and while the Rays did try to challenge it was pretty clear Franco was out. I’m not a psychic, but I feel like this was probably the Rays’ best opportunity to get the go-ahead. In the bottom of the inning it was Guerra out of the pen for the Rays. Taveras, then Semien hit a comebacker to Guerra. The game paused briefly to ensure Guerra was okay to continue. Perhaps he should not have, because on the next batter Seager hit a three-run home run to dead center.

Onto the eighth and in a pretty fun moment of instant umpire karma, as Arozarena got called back to the plate after thinking he had gotten a walk, he instead hit a solo home run. Brandon Lowe then hit a solo home run with two outs.

Bottom of the eighth and Guerra gave up only a walk to Duran, keeping the Rays in sight of a possible comeback.

Top of the ninth and it was the last chance for the Rays to do something. With three quick outs there was no comeback. But hey, at least it wasn’t a walk off, I gues.

Final: Rangers 5, Rays 3