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Live blog: Rays vs. Rangers, Game 4

4

October

Update 5:12 p.m The Rays season is over, falling 4-3 to the Rangers in Game 4 of the ALDS. Texas won the series 3 games to 1.

Update 5:00 p.m Rays aren't done yet, with Sean Rodriguez working a one-out walk, moving to second on defensive indifference, and then scoring on a Kotchman single.

Tampa Bay is now down 4-3 with pinch-runner Elliot Johnson on first and Joyce up.

Update 5:00 p.m Do the Rays have any magic left? One more try? They are down to their final three outs, and trailing by two runs in the bottom of the ninth.

Pinch-hitter Sam Fuld will lead off, followed by Sean Rodriguez and Casey Kotchman

Update 4:48 p.m Rays third baseman Evan Longoria strikes out on three pitches to start the eighth, not looking good in doing so. After a red-hot end to the season - and start of the playoffs - he is now 0-for-7 with five strikeouts in the last two games.

He is 1-for-11 with 6 Ks in his last three. That one hit? A three-run homer in Game 2.

Rays have three more outs left to make a comeback.

Update 4:46 p.m RHP Wade Davis, continuing his impressive work out of the bullpen, gets Beltre out to end the eighth.

Update 4:26 p.m: RHP Joel Peralta came in to start the eighth to replace Moore, who allowed one run in three innings.

Rays are down to their final six outs, with the meat of the Rangers bullpen still available.

Rangers 4, Rays 2

Update 4:11 p.m It's been the Adrian Beltre Show at the Trop today, with the slugging third baseman hitting his third homer of the game, leading the seventh off with a solo shot off LHP Matt Moore.

Beltre becomes the first player ever to homer three times in a division series, and seventh to do so in a postseason game. The last one to complete the feat was Adam Kennedy (3) with the Angels in 2002 ALCS vs. Minnesota.

Rangers 4, Rays 2 (7th)

Update 4:00 p.m The Rays get another baserunner in the sixth, with C Kelly Shoppach working a great at-bat before a single to center. But they get nothing out of it.

LHP Matt Moore, having pitched two perfect innings, is back to start the seventh. He's now tossed 14 consecutive scoreless innings.

Update 3:50 p.m LHP Matt Harrison's impressive outing is done, having struck out nine in five innings, allowing two runs.

Here comes another lefty, Derek Holland, who was the winning pitcher in Game 2 victory over the Rays in Arlington.

Update 3:42 p.m Jennings leads off the fifth with a walk, but is stranded there after Harrison retires Upton, Longoria and Zobrist in order.

Rangers 3, Rays 2

Update 3:40 p.m Moore starts off his home debut in impressive fashion, striking out two of three hitters in a perfect fifth, with the crowd getting on its feet.

Update 3:27 p.m Rays rookie LHP Matt Moore gets nice ovation as he jogs to mound to start the fifth. This is his Rays home debut.

Hellickson went four innings, allowing three runs on four hits (three homers).

Update 3:21 p.m The Rays get something going in the fourth, with Sean Rodriguez hitting a two-out double.

That's when Casey Kotchman works a great at-bat, falling behind before working the count full. He then hit a single up the middle to score Rodriguez, cutting the Rangers lead to one.

Rangers 3, Rays 2

Update 3:10 p.m Sensing the ever-decreasing margin for error, and down two runs, the Rays have rookie sensation LHP Matt Moore warming up in the bullpen here in the fourth.

Update 3:08 p.m The Rangers have been hitting Hellickson hard, and it continues in the fourth. That's when Adrian Beltre hit his second homer of the game, this time to the opposite field.

Hellickson has allowed four hits, three of them solo homers.

Rangers 3, Rays 1

Update 3:00 p.m Rangers lefty Matt Harrison has looked really good so far, mixing in his 93 mph fastball with his slider. he's struck out six Rays through three innings.

That included Harrison striking out the side in the third. He got Upton with a high fastball (93-94 mph), caught Longoria looking, and then dropped an 83 mph changeup that Zobrist could only wave at.

Tampa Bay is going to have a tough time cracking him, and are down 2-1.

Update 2:44 p.m The Rays got on the board in a crazy - and what could be a game-changing - play.

With Sean Rodriguez on first base and two outs, Matt Joyce ripped a liner into the right-center gap. Rodriguez, trying to score from first, was waved home.

Kinsler's relay throw, a one-hopper, got to catcher Mike Napoli just as Rodriguez did. Rodriguez, at full speed, threw his left shoulder into the chest of Napoli, jarring the ball loose, and getting called safe. It was a jarring collision, with Rodriguez giving up at least 20 pounds to Napoli, who was attended to by trainers and manager Ron Washington.

Rangers 2, Rays 1

Update 2:25 p.m The Rangers are teeing off a bit on Hellickson here, with Adrian Beltre blasting a mammoth homer to the leftfield seats.

Texas 2, Rays 0

Update 2:22 p.m The Rays offense, which could only muster 1 hit through six innings against Rangers RHP Colby Lewis yesterday, showed some signs of life in the first inning today.

Desmond Jennings led off with a single and moved to second on a two-out single by Ben Zobrist. But Johnny Damon grounded out weakly to first base to end the inning.

Rangers LHP Scott Harrison is a relative unknown to the Rays, as he hasn't started a game against them, only a few relief appearances. That could play into his advantage a little bit. He's got a nice four pitch mix, including a 92-93 mph fastball.

Rangers 1, Rays 0 (2nd inning)

Update 2:13 p.m Hellickson settled down to retire the next three, but the damage was done. It was the first time this series the Rangers have scored first.

The Rays are in their light blue jerseys, with a couple players - Rodriguez and Upton - having the high sock and stirrup look.

Update 2:10 p.m. That was not the kind of start the Rays had hoped for, with Rangers leadoff man Ian Kinsler ripping Jeremy Hellickson's second pitch of the game into the leftfield seats.

Rangers 1, Rays 0

Developing: We're live at Tropicana Field, for another must-win game for the Rays, who are facing elimination, down 2-1 in the best-of-five series against Texas.

Rookie RHP Jeremy Hellickson will try to keep the season alive for Tampa Bay, with the Rangers throwing LHP Matt Harrison, one of the players acquired in the 2007 Mark Teixeira trade with the Braves.

C Kelly Shoppach is behind the plate for the Rays, which may slightly slow down the Rangers running game - they stole four bases last night.

Feel free to send in any questions or comments!

[Last modified: Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:15am]

    

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