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
The Tampa Bay Rays were looking to draw even in the race to the playoffs with the Baltimore Orioles. It wasn't to be.
J.J.Hardy hit a pair of two-run homers, including one off Matt Moore in the third broke a 1-1 tie, and the Orioles defeated the Rays going away 9-2 Tuesday.
Baltimore got off to a quick start, as Moore walked Adam Jones with two out in the bottom of the first. Matt Wieters then dropped a flare into right field, and when Matt Joyce overran the baseball, Jones scored all the way from first base for a 1-0 lead.
Tampa Bay drew even in the top of the third, when Ryan Roberts hit his tenth homer of the year with one out in the frame.
The lead would not last long, as Robert Andino lined a double to start the bottom of the frame. After Moore struck out Nate McLouth, Hardy hit his first home run of the night to make it 3-1.
Moore struggled to complete four innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits, walking three and striking out four.
The Orioles tacked on two more in the fifth, as Hardy doubled to start the inning off Burke Badenhop. Jones singled him up a base, and Wieters brought in both runners with a double for a 5-1 lead.
Hardy picked up his third run batted in in the sixth, singling in McLouth, who had singled and stole second base (and injuring Roberts in the process) for a 6-1 lead.
Chris Davis made it 7-1 in the seventh, hitting his 25th home run of the year off J.P. Howell.
Elliot Johnson finally cut into the Baltimore lead in the eighth with his sixth homer of the year, a solo shot to make it 7-2. However, Hardy set the score in the bottom of the eighth with his second homer of the evening, a two-run shot off Dane De La Rosa.
Ben Francisco doubled off Pedro Strop in the ninth, but the reliever struck out pinch-hitter Carlos Pena, and got pinch-hitter Sam Fuld to ground out to end the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay to two games back of a Wild Card berth.
Tampa Bay will look to rebound Wednesday night, when Alex Cobb takes on Miguel Gonzalez. Coverage on 620 WDAE starts at 7:00, with first pitch at 7:05.