The Tampa Bay Rays played The Texas Rangers on October 4, 2011. The Rays ended their AL wild-card streak, losing 4-3.
The Tampa Bay Rays play the Texas Rangers for Game 2 in Texas! Final score: 6-8 (Texas)
The Rays beat the New York Yankees to clinch a playoff spot in the 2011 playoffs!
by Steve Carney
James Shields pitched into the eighth inning, and Jose Lobaton hit his second home run, as the Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Kansas City Royals 5-3 Wednesday.
Kansas City got to Shields in the second inning, as Salvador Perez doubled with one out. Mike Moustakas moved him to third, grounding out to first baseman Carlos Pena, and Francoeur's sharp single up the middle brought the Royals catcher home for a 1-0 lead.
Tampa Bay took the lead for good in the third, as B.J. Upton laced a one-out single to left, and moved to third as Matt Joyce's bloop single to center was mishandled by Lorenzo Cain. Mendoza then hit Evan Longoria with a pitch to load the bases.
Ben Zobrist got some help from the roof of Tropicana Field, as Francoeur dropped with looked to be an easy foul fly ball, before lifted a fly ball to left that plated Upton to tie the game. Jeff Keppinger then lined a two-out, two-strike offerring back through the box to bring in Joyce to break the tie.
Tampa Bay added to their lead in the sixth, as Carlos Pena led off the frame with a walk, and scored when Ryan Roberts doubled into the left-centerfield gap to make it 3-1.
The Rays made it 4-1 an inning later when Evan Longoria singled to start the seventh. Ben Zobrist doubled to right field, and when shortstop Alcides Escobar couldn't handl the cutoff throw, pinch-runner Sam Fuld raced home.
Kansas City cut the lead back to 4-3 as Escobar tripled in Johnny Giavotella with two out in the eighth off Shields, and scored on an Alex Gordon single off Jake McGee.
Jose Lobaton set the score in the bottom of the eighth with his second home run of the season, a solo shot off Aaron Crow.
Fernando Rodney pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his league-leading 39th save.
The Oakland A's come to the Trop for a three-game series starting Thursday night, when Alex Cobb (7-8, 4.74 ERA) takes on Tyson Ross (2-8, 6.35 ERA). Pregame coverage on 620 WDAE starts at 6:30, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10.