ST. PETERSBURG (CBS) And for the second year in a row, the Texas Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Rays to advance to the American League Championship Series.
With 28, 299 fans in attendance, Tampa Bay couldn’t pull off a miracle in the ninth and lost 4-3 Tuesday afternoon to end their season on a sour note. But as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Tampa Bay reached the end of the road today, but the team has a lot to be proud of.
September was a month of positive reinforcement for Rays’ fans, and they certainly won’t forget the fight their team put up to even be in the playoff picture in 2011.
Tampa Bay started the ALDS off hot in game one with a large margin victory, but the next three games they had no answer for the Rangers. The outcome of the series is deceiving because the Rays hung in there with Texas, but came out on the wrong end of three very close results.
Jeremy Hellickson started for the Rays in game four and had a tough outing from the start. Ian Kinsler hit a solo shot in the first, followed by a home run by Adrian Beltre in the second to give Texas a 2-0 lead.
Matt Moore replaced Hellickson in the fifth inning, but his game one heroics could not carry over to Tuesday’s game at Tropicana Field.
Beltre was a nuisance for Rays’ pitching and finished his day with three home runs to put a deep gash in the Rays’ chances at a game five in Texas.
Matt Joyce doubled in the second to drive in a run, and Casey Kotchman singled in the fourth to bring Shaun Rodriguez home to bring the score to 3-2 through seven innings.
Beltre’s third home run of the game in the seventh extended the Rangers’ lead to two, and in the bottom of the ninth Tampa Bay rallied to within one run but fell short in yet another close game at Tropicana Field.
The season may be over for Tampa Bay, but the memories live on. The unbelievable run in September is what fans will remember most, but more importantly it will motivate the Rays to improve and grow with a young team that already knows how to win.