Live blog: Rays vs. Rangers, Game 3

3

October

Update 8:23 p.m The Rays have runners on first and second (thanks to back-to-back walks by Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce). And the Rangers went to the 'pen, getting LHP Mike Gonzalez, a former Oriole whom the Rays have rallied off of before.

Here's Johnny...Damon.

Update 8:19 p.m With Rangers RHP Mike Adams struggling with his command, the Rays are trying to take advantage.

After Jennings' homer, Upton walked. But after Adams threw over to first five or six times, the Rangers called for a pitch out, and Napoli threw UPton out at second.

Evan Longoria walked, setting up Matt Joyce.

Update 8:06 p.m Desmond Jennings does it again, ripping a solo homer to lead off the eighth to bring the Rays within 4-3. It was Jennings second homer of the game.

Rangers 4, Rays 3

Update 7:54 p.m Tampa Bay did score a run, on an RBI groundout by Sean Rodriguez, who was aided when a foul fly ball was dropped by Elvis Andrus, prolonging his at-bat.

But the Rays would get no more, as pinch-hitter Sam Fuld grounded out to second to end the inning. Just a thought: might have been a good time to see Dan Johnson take a swing (had he been included on the roster)?

Rangers 4, Rays 2 (8th)

Update 7:43 p.m The Rays, true to their comeback ways, get a rally going in the seventh, with three straight singles to load the bases on Oliver. Hard throwing righty Alexi Ogando is in to pitch to Sean Rodriguez.

Update 7:29 p.m J.P. Howell continues his frustrating season, allowing a two-run single to Hamilton to make it 4-1 Rangers. That's it for Howell, who is replaced by Juan Cruz.

Maddon had said before the game he didn't want to get into a "bullpen war" with the Rangers, and that's what it's come down to. LHP Darren Oliver is coming in for the Rangers.

Update 7:23 p.m Rookie RHP Brandon Gomes threw seven consecutive balls upon entering game, walking two to load the bases.

With Josh Hamilton coming up, Rays turn to J.P. Howell to try to keep this a one-run game. Huge situation here.

Update 7:15 p.m Rangers catcher Mike Napoli did it again, ripping a two-run homer in the seventh to give Texas a 2-1 lead.

Price had been up on Napoli 0-2, but he worked the at-bat back to 2-2, then belted a pitch into the leftfield seats. Fans were chanting "Na-Po-LI!" in the Rangers section behind the dugout.

Napoli also had a key hit in Saturday's win, a two-run single off Shields to tie the game.

Price's night is over, having given up two runs and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings. He received a standing ovation from the crowd here. In comes Brandon Gomes.

Rangers 2, Rays 1 (7th)

Update 6:42 p.m Price may have just made the play of the game.

With runners on first and second and one out for Josh Hamilton, Price jumped off the mound to make an over the shoulder grab on a Hamilton chopper. Price then raced to first, using his great athleticism, to beat Hamilton to the bag. He certainly needed to, since neither Kotchman or Zobrist were in position to cover first. Price then got Michael Young to ground out to short to thwart the threat, stranding two runners in scoring position.

It's a stark contrast to last year's Game 5, when a Price defensive miscue cost him a run (he covered first on a double play, but didn't turn around in time to see a Rangers player scoring from second).

Rays 1, Rangers 0 (bottom sixth)

Update 6:39 p.m LHP David Price has said, walks score in the big leagues, and he got himself in trouble here in the sixth starting with a leadoff walk to No. 9 hitter Craig Gentry.

With one out, speedy SS Elvis Andrus hit a chopper just over Price's head, and Zobrist couldn't get to it, putting runners on first and second with one out.

Update 6:26 p.m LHP David Price has settled in, allowing just three hits (with two K's) while facing the minimum thorgh five. He's thrown just 62 pitches, so on pace to go deep into the game.

Update 6:17 p.m Upton stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch, but was stranded.

The Rays were finally able to crack Lewis, though, breaking the no-hitter and taking a 1-0 lead.

Rays 1, Rangers 0 (top fifth)

Update 6:07 p.m Desmond Jennings broke up Colby Lewis' no-hitter in a big way, a solo homer to start the fourth inning.

The blast, which put the Rays up 1-0, also got the crowd back into it. They chanted "BJ UPTON!" as the centerfielder came to bat, and he walked.

Rays 1, Rangers 0

Update 5:50 p.m Gentry singled in the third, but got picked off first base, thwarting a potential rally.

Kinsler hit a fly ball to the warning track in center for the second out. And Price struck out Elvis Andrus to end the inning, his first strikeout of the night.

Colby Lewis hasn't allowed a hit through three

Update 5:31 p.m Rangers C Mike Napoli, one of the team's hottest hitters coming off a career season, worked a good at-bat vs. Price and singled.

What was more stunning is Napoli stole second, beating a throw by C John Jaso. Napoli had stolen just four bases all year. Look for the Rangers to run a lot tonight. It's part of their game, plus they're going to test Jaso.

Price has given up two hits through two.

Rays 0, Rangers 0 (bottom 2nd)

Update 5:21 p.m Rangers RHP Colby Lewis, who has had success against the Rays, retires Tampa Bay in order in the first.

Hitting coach Derek Shelton said the key in getting to Lewis is making him come into the strike zone, not swinging at pitches out of it to help him out.

The one good sign in the first was Desmond Jennings quality 10-pitch at-bat - which ended in a groundout. Manager Joe Maddon had dropped him from the leadoff spot in Game 1, noticing signs of fatigue and the rookie altering his mechanics. But Jennings at-bats have been better this series, which is why he's back on top.

Update 5:12 p.m. LHP David Price gets out of the first inning unscathed - largely thanks to 1B Casey Kotchman. Kotchman reached into the stands to make a tough catch ona popup by Ian Kinsler. And after a single and a Josh Hamilton (when Price covered first base, unlike his miscue in last year's Game 5), Kotchman made a spectacular diving catch to rob Michael Young of extra bases.

Price did not look particularly sharp in the first, but got some help behind him.

Developing: We're live at a sold-out Tropicana Field for Game 3 of the American League Division series between the Rays and Rangers. LHP David Price will be on the mound, having never beaten Texas (including losses in Game 1 and Game 5 of last year's division series).

Pretty good scene before the game, with the children of the late Lee Roy Selmon throwing out the first pitch - Lee Roy and Brandy.

Feel free to send in comments or questions.

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 12:15am]

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