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Pena's two homers, walk-off single in 10th spark Rays past Rangers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Carlos Pena had more to play for than a Tampa Bay victory.

Pena homered twice and drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th inning, giving the Rays a 5-4 victory over the Texas Rangers on Saturday night.

The Rays' first baseman learned early Saturday that his close friend and college teammate, Greg Montalbano, had died of cancer Friday night. Montalbano pitched in the minors for the Boston Red Sox.

"I was crushed," Pena said. "He was my right hand in college. He's been battling cancer for 10 years. He was always smiling. The only thing that comforts me is I know he's in a better place, but we're going to miss him greatly."

Evan Longoria was hit by a pitch from Jason Grilli (1-2), just off the disabled list, to start the bottom of the 10th and went to second when Ben Zobrist walked. Pena then hit a liner to center to score Longoria.

Afterward, the slugger was still thinking about Montalbano.

"I dedicated this game to his memory and his family," Pena said.

Pena finished with four RBI for the Rays, who remain three games behind AL wild-card leading Boston. The Rangers fell two games back of the Red Sox, who beat the New York Yankees 14-1.

"Carlos swung at strikes and didn't miss them," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.

Pena has three of his 16 career multihomer games this season, and has eight homers over his last 14 games.

Grant Balfour (5-2) struck out two during a scoreless 10th for the win.

Marlon Byrd pulled the Rangers even at 4 on a two-out, ninth-inning solo homer off Tampa Bay closer J.P. Howell, who had converted his previous 13 save opportunities.

"We came back and won it. You know what, it really eliminates what happened," Howell said.

Pat Burrell hit a go-ahead RBI double in the eighth as the Rays took a 4-3 lead. His drive off the left-field wall scored Pena, who drew a two-out walk from C.J. Wilson.

Michael Young homered and had his third straight three-hit game. He has 18 three-hit games this season and 144 in his career, which is three behind teammate Ivan Rodriguez's club record.

"It was a well-played game," Young said. "Those kind of games, you love being the home team."

Pena hit a solo homer in the second and put the Rays up 3-2 on a two-run shot in the fourth.

Texas went ahead 2-1 in the third when Taylor Teagarden drove in a run with a double and Young had an RBI triple. Young tied it at 3 on a sixth-inning solo homer.

Tampa Bay's Matt Garza allowed three runs and six hits over seven innings. He has just one win in his last nine starts.

Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings.

Young singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He has 19 career double-digit hitting streaks, which ties the Rangers mark held by Rodriguez.

The game was delayed for a couple of minutes in the ninth when Byrd was hit by peanuts thrown from the left-field seats. Additional security was sent to the area.

"We played a good game. They just played better than us," Byrd said.

Notes

  • The AL East-leading Yankees had a group of scouts at the game between playoff contenders.
  • Longoria hit into his AL-leading 23rd double play this season in the third.
  • Byrd has 13 RBI over his last 13 games.
  • The Rangers activated Grilli (right elbow) from the 15-day disabled list before the game and optioned RHP Willie Eyre to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
  • Texas RHP Brandon McCarthy (right shoulder) made his fourth minor league rehab start for Oklahoma City.
 
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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Carlos Pena (right) accounts for four RBI to help Tampa Bay notch an important victory.  (AP)
Carlos Pena (right) accounts for four RBI to help Tampa Bay notch an important victory. (AP)

Players of the Game
Tampa Bay

C. Pena
AB 4
R 3
H 3
HR 2
RBI 4
Texas

M. Young
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, DH4000011 .432
Michael Young, 3B4132000 .329
David Murphy, LF3000012 .260
   a- Nelson Cruz, PH-RF1000000 .265
Marlon Byrd, CF-LF4111020 .286
Josh Hamilton, RF-CF4010000 .261
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000021 .245
Hank Blalock, 1B4110010 .240
Taylor Teagarden, C4111020 .200
Elvis Andrus, SS2000000 .268
Totals3447409  
a-flied out for Murphy in the 9th
Batting
2B - Taylor Teagarden (8, Garza)
3B - Michael Young (2, Garza)
HR - Michael Young (21, Garza), Marlon Byrd (15, Howell)
SH - Elvis Andrus (10)
RBI - Michael Young 2 (61), Marlon Byrd (66), Taylor Teagarden (22)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Young (17), Marlon Byrd (28)
CS - Michael Young (3, 2nd base by Garza/Navarro)
Team LOB - 1
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Blalock, Andrus-Kinsler-Blalock
E - Elvis Andrus (16, Throwing), Neftali Feliz (1, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Tommy Hunter 5733212 2.85
Neftali Feliz 2.2000120 0.63
C.J. Wilson 0.1111100 3.05
Darren O'Day 1000110 1.79
Jason Grilli (L,1-3)0111100 4.14
HBP - Longoria (by Jason Grilli)
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hunter 94-59, Neftali Feliz 30-20, C.J. Wilson 15-8, Darren O'Day 16-10, Jason Grilli 10-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hunter 6-6, Neftali Feliz 2-4, Darren O'Day 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Hunter 22, Neftali Feliz 9, C.J. Wilson 3, Darren O'Day 4, Jason Grilli 3
Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS4010121 .343
Carl Crawford, LF4010102 .318
Evan Longoria, 3B4100004 .275
Ben Zobrist, 2B4110103 .291
Carlos Pena, 1B4334100 .219
Pat Burrell, DH3011100 .231
    Gabe Kapler, PR-DH0000000 .239
Gabe Gross, RF3000102 .258
Dioner Navarro, C4010002 .222
B.J. Upton, CF4010020 .237
Totals3459564  
Batting
2B - Pat Burrell (12, Wilson), Dioner Navarro (15, Hunter)
HR - Carlos Pena 2 (34, Hunter, Hunter)
RBI - Carlos Pena 4 (84), Pat Burrell (46)
2-OUT RBI - Pat Burrell (20)
SB - B.J. Upton (36, 2nd base off Hunter/Teagarden)
CS - Dioner Navarro (2, 3rd base by Hunter/Teagarden)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Navarro-Bartlett, Longoria-Zobrist-Pena
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza 7633071 3.74
Russ Springer 1000000 3.99
J.P. Howell (BS,6) 1111001 2.26
Grant Balfour (W,5-2) 1000020 4.29
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 110-69, Russ Springer 13-10, J.P. Howell 15-9, Grant Balfour 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 5-7, Russ Springer 1-2, J.P. Howell 1-2
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 25, Russ Springer 3, J.P. Howell 4, Grant Balfour 3
Game Information
Attendance - 34281
Game Time - 3:16
Temperature - 72
Umpires - Home - Jerry Layne, First Base - Andy Fletcher, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Tim McClelland