ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — After beating the Texas Rangers in 11 innings the night before, the Tampa Bay Rays got a quick taste of the other side of the equation Saturday night.
“The razor-thin line between winning and losing was on display tonight,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon.
Rookie Jurickson Profar hit a tiebreaking RBI double in the 10th inning, leading Texas to a 4-2 win over Tampa Bay.
After Geovany Soto had a two-out double off Kyle Farnsworth (1-4), Profar drove in pinch-runner Leonys Martin on his hit past a diving Carlos Pena down the first-base line.
Texas made it 4-2 when Josh Hamilton, who had earlier hit his 40th homer, was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
The Rays, who could have moved within a game of the AL East lead with a win, squandered a pitching performance by rookie Chris Archer that was “above and beyond what I expected,” Maddon said.
Filling in for 17-game winner David Price, Archer gave up two runs and four hits over seven innings in his third big league start. He struck out 11 and walked two.
“I was able to keep my team in the game,” said Archer. “That was pretty much what our goal was.”
The Rays trailed 2-1 when he departed.
“We have the best bullpen in the game so whenever the ball gets turned over to them, you can’t really be mad,” Archer said. “I felt good, but I didn’t want to get crazy with it, and Joe felt like it was time to go the ‘pen, and I was on board with that.”
Mike Adams (5-3) threw a scoreless inning for the win before Joe Nathan pitched the 10th for his 31st save.
Pena was called out looking to end the game with a runner on second and was ejected for arguing the call by plate umpire Mike Estabrook.
Tampa Bay tied it 2-all in the eighth when pinch-runner Rich Thompson scored from second after second baseman Ian Kinsler, positioned in shallow right field as part of a defensive shift, misplayed pinch-hitter Pena’s two-out grounder.
Yu Darvish gave up two runs and two hits in eight innings for Texas, which played its third consecutive extra-inning game.
The Rays put only seven men on base, including three by walks and one on an error.
“We didn’t get many hits, and I guess it wasn’t enough to win the game,” Pena said, “but I guess you have to tip your cap because it was a great pitching performance.”
Hamilton put the Rangers up 2-0 with a towering two-run shot to center off Archer in the fourth. He has 119 RBIs this season.
Hamilton was hit by Archer’s high pitch during his next at-bat in the sixth. Tampa Bay’s Jose Molina stepped in front of Hamilton after the pitch, but the Rangers slugger appeared to briefly laugh with Molina before heading to first.
Both benches were warned by Estabrook.
After Sam Fuld singled leading off the first, Darvish didn’t allow another baserunner until Jeff Keppinger started the sixth with a single. The Rangers right-hander walked Ryan Roberts and then threw a wild pitch that moved the runners to second and third.
Molina struck out before Fuld’s RBI grounder cut the Rays’ deficit to 2-1. B.J. Upton followed with a fly out.
Archer got help from Roberts, who grabbed Profar’s one-hop shot at second base and turned it into an inning-ending double play with runners on first and third in the fifth.
Notes: Tampa Bay LF Desmond Jennings was out of the starting lineup due to lower back stiffness. … Rangers C Mike Napoli (left quadriceps) is set to join Double-A Frisco for a rehab assignment. … Texas reliever Alexi Ogando has been slowed the past few days because of biceps tightness . . . A total of 53 strikeouts were recorded in the first two games of the series.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.