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Rays Can’t Comeback From Moore’s Early Struggles Fall To Rangers 8-2

Associated Press
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(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Elvis Andrus drove in three runs and the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-2 Thursday night for four-game series split that left the teams tied atop the AL wild-card race.

The Rangers won the season series with the Rays 4-3, earning home-field advantage should the teams finish in tie for the two wild-card spots. They each have 10 games left.

The Indians, meanwhile, pulled within a half-game of the leaders by beating Houston 2-1 in 11 innings. Cleveland has nine remaining.

Yu Darvish won for the first time in seven starts since Aug. 12, surviving a 40-pitch first inning in which he hit a batter and walked three, falling behind 2-0. Darvish (13-9) made it through five innings despite walking six, throwing 109 pitches.

Mitch Moreland, Andrus and Alex Rios each homered off Matt Moore in the third inning to put the Rangers ahead to stay.

Craig Gentry had four of the Rangers’ 16 hits and three of their five stolen bases, the most against the Rays this season.

Andrus’ homer was his second of the series and his fourth of the season, all since Aug. 4. Moreland, the only left-handed hitter in the Texas lineup, hit his 23nd long ball and Rios his 17th. Geovany Soto added his eighth home run, off Cesar Ramos in the ninth.

The Rangers were down 2-1 when Moreland led off the third with long drive to left-center off Moore. Following Ian Kinsler’s fly out to the warning track in left, Andrus and Rios hit consecutive home runs to left.

Moore (15-4) gave up six runs, five earned, while striking out six in four innings. He served up three homers in a game for the first time this season after giving up only four in his 16 preceding starts.

NOTES: Tim Beckham, the Rays’ first overall draft pick in 2008, singled as a pinch hitter in his major league debut. … Texas OF Nelson Cruz (suspension) has started playing games with the Rangers’ instructional league team in Arizona. … Tampa Bay sent Class-A LHP Matthew Spann to Washington as the player to be named in an August 23 trade in which the Rays obtained OF David DeJesus. … Rays rookie OF Wil Myers got his first haircut since spring training, which garnered a lot of attention in the clubhouse. “He told me he paid $14 for it, and that’s $14 too much,” said pitcher David Price. . . . Rays RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) threw 26 pitches in an instructional league game. The Rays expect to activate him soon.

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