Tampa Bay at Texas

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (74-48)000000000031
Texas (62-62) «10000020x390

Rangers 3, Rays 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers were looking for a good outing from anyone in its rotation.

Rookie Matt Harrison provided a huge boost to the Rangers' staff by throwing eight shutout innings, sending Texas past the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 Saturday night.

The Rangers, who came in with baseball's worst team ERA at 5.45, had allowed 69 runs over the past seven games. Texas' starters were even worse in that span with a 15.36 ERA in 25 innings.

"It's always important to get a well-pitched job from your starter," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We've been searching to get one and Matt Harrison stepped up. He showed what his upside can be."

Harrison (5-2) dominated the AL East-leading Rays in his eighth career start. The lefty gave up just three singles, struck out eight without a walk, and retired the final 18 batters.

Harrison entered the game with a 7.07 ERA and a total of seven strikeouts in 35 2/3 innings. He was pulled after 109 pitches.

All-Star Josh Hamilton preserved the shutout in the sixth with a leaping catch at the wall to take away a home run from Ben Zobrist. Zobrist played in place of B.J. Upton, who was benched for the second time in less than two weeks for failing to hustle.

"To go out and shut them down was an awesome feeling," Harrison said. "Josh making that spectacular catch at the wall, that could have been the turning point of the game."

Ian Kinsler homered on the first pitch he saw from Rays starter Edwin Jackson (9-8), who lost for the first time in five starts.

The Rangers had been shut out their last two games. Kinsler quickly ended that scoring slump when he lined Jackson's first-pitch fastball over the left-field wall for his fourth home run in six games.

That was the only run Jackson allowed in six innings. He struck out the last batter he saw, Chris Davis, on a 97 mph fastball

"It's hard to say it was a mistake," Jackson said. "It was the first pitch of the game. He jumped on a good pitch and took advantage."

The Rays had won three in row. Texas stopped its four-game losing streak.

Eddie Guardado pitched the ninth for his fourth save in four chances. It was Texas' sixth shutout of the season.

"Sometimes when we pitch well, we don't score runs and vice versa," Hamilton said. "We need to find more consistency as a team. Tampa Bay is in first place and it's nice to take a win out of their category."

The Rangers, who had lost eight of nine, added two runs in the seventh off reliever J.P. Howell. Michael Young hit an RBI single and Brandon Boggs drew a bases-loaded walk.

Harrison had hardly been a strikeout pitcher in his seven starts as a major leaguer this season. But he had a run where he recorded six in a 10-batter span against the first-place Rays.

The hardest hit ball Harrison allowed was Zobrist's drive in the second that ended up in Hamilton's glove.

"The ball started carrying, and I got excited," Zobrist said. "He quickly took that away. He made it look so easy."

After Jason Bartlett singled in the third, Tampa Bay did not have a baserunner until Akinori Iwamura walked leading off the ninth. The Rays were blanked for the fifth time this season.

Notes

Texas was without designated hitter Milton Bradley, who was scratched from the lineup about an hour before the game. The team said Bradley was sick and being examined by team doctors. Washington said that Bradley would play Sunday. ... Rays manager Joe Maddon also benched Upton Aug. 6 for not hustling. ... Tampa Bay is 19-9 since the All-Star break. ... Kinsler has hit five leadoff home runs this season. ... Rays 1B Carlos Pena, who had homered in three straight games, was 0-of-4 with two strikeouts.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Texas

M. Harrison
IP 8.0
H 3
ER 0
BB 0
K 8
Texas

I. Kinsler
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
Akinori Iwamura, 2B3010111 .277
Ben Zobrist, CF4000003 .234
Carlos Pena, 1B4000022 .240
Rocco Baldelli, DH3010010 .250
Willy Aybar, 3B3000012 .231
Justin Ruggiano, LF3000000 .233
Shawn Riggans, C3000010 .235
Gabe Gross, RF3000010 .228
Jason Bartlett, SS3010010 .266
Totals2903018  
Fielding
E - Jason Bartlett (13, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Edwin Jackson (L,9-8) 6511361 3.97
J.P. Howell 0.1320010 2.36
Chad Bradford 0.2000110 2.25
Trever Miller 1100020 4.55
Pitches-Strikes - Edwin Jackson 101-62, J.P. Howell 20-15, Chad Bradford 14-8, Trever Miller 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Edwin Jackson 7-5, J.P. Howell 1-0
Batters Faced - Edwin Jackson 26, J.P. Howell 5, Chad Bradford 3, Trever Miller 4
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B5121022 .319
Frank Catalanotto, DH3000011 .277
   a- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH-DH2110011 .238
Michael Young, SS3021101 .291
Josh Hamilton, CF4010002 .302
Marlon Byrd, RF4010023 .290
Brandon Boggs, LF2011202 .239
Gerald Laird, C4010014 .289
Chris Davis, 1B4000023 .263
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3100110 .308
Totals34393410  
a-singled for Catalanotto in the 7th
Batting
2B - Michael Young (28, Howell), Brandon Boggs (16, Jackson)
HR - Ian Kinsler (18, Jackson)
RBI - Ian Kinsler (71), Michael Young (66), Brandon Boggs (32)
2-OUT RBI - Brandon Boggs (15)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
DP - Young-Kinsler-Davis
Texas Rangers
Matt Harrison (W,5-2) 8300080 5.77
Eddie Guardado (S,4) 1000100 3.21
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Harrison 109-78, Eddie Guardado 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Harrison 8-8, Eddie Guardado 1-1
Batters Faced - Matt Harrison 27, Eddie Guardado 3
Game Information
Attendance - 29238
Game Time - 2:37
Temperature - 82
Umpires - Home - Gary Cederstrom, First Base - Field Culbreth, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Tim Timmons