Tampa Bay at Texas

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Tampa Bay (78-76)110100000371
Texas (85-69) «000111102x15191

Byrd's slam sparks 11-run fifth as Rangers blow out Rays

CBSSports.com wire reports
  •  

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Marlon Byrd showed why manager Ron Washington wants him back in a Texas Rangers uniform next season.

Byrd homered twice, including his sixth career grand slam in an 11-run fifth inning, and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 15-3 on Saturday night.

The center fielder will be a free agent after the season ends. Washington said before the game that he hoped the team would re-sign Byrd, and Saturday's performance only reinforced the manager's opinion.

 Playoff Race

"I don't think we can get anything better than what we have here," Washington said.

Before thinking about the offseason, the Rangers still have a glimmer of hope in the playoff race.

Texas moved within five games of the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels, who lost 15-10 to Oakland, with eight to play. The teams begin a four-game series Monday night at Angel Stadium.

The Rangers are six games behind Boston for the AL wild card. The victory Saturday assured them of not being eliminated from either race in their final home game of the season Sunday.

The victory assured the Rangers of not being eliminated in their final home game of the season Sunday.

"It's great that we're still playing for something," Byrd said.

The Rangers scored all 11 runs in the fifth with two outs as 10 straight batters reached base.

The two-out outburst started with Byrd's slam off starter Matt Garza (8-11) that gave Texas a 5-3 lead. After that, the Rangers strung together four singles, three walks and two doubles.

"After getting the big hit, it seemed like everybody relaxed after that," Byrd said. "That's when we started stringing together some hits."

They finished the fifth with nine hits, one short of a club record, and sent 16 batters to the plate.

Texas starter Kevin Millwood (12-10) allowed three runs -- two earned -- and seven hits in seven innings to win his second consecutive start.

"I got up and shook hands a lot," Millwood joked about his team's huge inning. "I'll take that anytime."

Gregg Zaun homered for Tampa Bay, which has lost all five games at Texas this season.

Garza, who gave up seven runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings, allowed just one run on Byrd's solo homer through four innings.

The Rangers loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth, but Garza looked as though he was going to get out of trouble as he retired the next two without a run scoring.

That's when everything unraveled for Tampa Bay.

Byrd, who tied a career high with five RBI, hit the first pitch he saw from Garza 423 feet to left, his first gland slam since a game-ending shot that beat the New York Yankees on Aug. 4, 2008.

Byrd has career highs with 19 home runs and 88 RBI.

"Marlon has stepped up huge for us all year," Texas' Chris Davis said. "He'll do whatever it takes to get the job done."

Garza allowed two more batters to reach before being replaced by Jeff Bennett, who gave up five runs, five hits and two walks without retiring a batter. Josh Hamilton hit a three-run double to make it 12-3 and Byrd walked before Dale Thayer got the final out of the fifth, Texas' largest inning since scoring 11 runs in the fifth on June 23, 1998, against Arizona.

"It just got out of control," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "It was very difficult to watch, almost unbelievable."

Ian Kinsler homered in the sixth, his 31st, to make it 13-3. The Rangers capped the scoring on Julio Borbon's RBI grounder and Hamilton's RBI double in the eighth.

The Rangers tied a season high with 19 hits.

Tampa Bay opened the scoring on Ben Zobrist's bases-loaded walk in the first.

B.J. Upton reached on Davis' throwing error at third leading off the second and scored on Jason Bartlett's double.

Zaun's homer in the fourth put Tampa Bay on top 3-0.

Notes

  • Rangers 3B Michael Young, who has missed 21 of 22 games with a strained left hamstring, ran the bases and took batting practice. He hopes to be back in the lineup for Texas' season-ending road trip. "I'll take another round of batting practice Sunday and see where I am Monday," he said.
  • Garza struck out eight for Tampa Bay.
  • Davis matched a career high with four hits.
 
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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Marlon Byrd is greeted by teammates after his sixth career grand slam, one of two homers he hits.  (AP)
Marlon Byrd is greeted by teammates after his sixth career grand slam, one of two homers he hits. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

M. Byrd
AB 3
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 5
Texas

J. Hamilton
AB 6
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 4
 

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Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Bartlett, SS3121000 .320
    Fernando Perez, LF1010000 .192
Carl Crawford, LF3020000 .306
    Gabe Kapler, RF1000001 .236
Evan Longoria, 3B2010102 .284
    Chris Richard, 1B1000010 .143
Ben Zobrist, RF2001101 .286
    Shawn Riggans, C1000000 .167
Pat Burrell, DH4000012 .225
Willy Aybar, 1B-3B4000002 .249
B.J. Upton, CF4100000 .238
Gregg Zaun, C2111001 .260
   a- Reid Brignac, PH-SS2000010 .269
Akinori Iwamura, 2B3000011 .290
Totals3337324  
a-struck out for Zaun in the 6th
Batting
2B - Jason Bartlett (28, Millwood)
HR - Gregg Zaun (8, Millwood)
RBI - Jason Bartlett (65), Ben Zobrist (79), Gregg Zaun (27)
2-OUT RBI - Jason Bartlett (34)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
E - Jason Bartlett (18, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
Matt Garza (L,8-11) 4.2677382 3.93
Jeff Bennett0555200 5.04
Dale Thayer 1.1311011 4.35
Brian Shouse 1100010 4.85
Andy Sonnanstine 1422020 6.94
Pitches-Strikes - Matt Garza 100-61, Jeff Bennett 24-10, Dale Thayer 32-20, Brian Shouse 11-7, Andy Sonnanstine 27-21
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Matt Garza 2-5, Dale Thayer 1-2, Andy Sonnanstine 1-0
Batters Faced - Matt Garza 24, Jeff Bennett 7, Dale Thayer 7, Brian Shouse 4, Andy Sonnanstine 7
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, LF5212123 .320
Elvis Andrus, SS2110203 .269
   a- Omar Vizquel, PH-SS2000014 .266
Josh Hamilton, DH6024026 .268
Marlon Byrd, CF3225111 .282
    Craig Gentry, CF2010012 .167
Hank Blalock, 1B5110033 .242
Ian Kinsler, 2B3211110 .250
    Esteban German, 2B1000001 .333
David Murphy, RF5222000 .278
Ivan Rodriguez, C4231000 .254
    Kevin Richardson, C1110000 .500
Chris Davis, 3B5240011 .228
Totals44151915512  
a-popped out for Andrus in the 6th
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton 2 (19, J. Bennett, Sonnanstine), Craig Gentry (1, Shouse), David Murphy (23, J. Bennett), Chris Davis (14, Garza)
HR - Marlon Byrd 2 (19, Garza, Garza), Ian Kinsler (31, Thayer)
RBI - Julio Borbon 2 (18), Josh Hamilton 4 (54), Marlon Byrd 5 (88), Ian Kinsler (84), David Murphy 2 (54), Ivan Rodriguez (46)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Borbon (5), Josh Hamilton 4 (25), Marlon Byrd 4 (34), David Murphy 2 (21), Ivan Rodriguez (20)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
DP - Millwood-Rodriguez-Blalock, Vizquel-German-Blalock
E - Chris Davis (4, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (W,12-10) 7732221 3.75
Willie Eyre 1000020 4.76
Eddie Guardado 1000000 4.34
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 109-64, Willie Eyre 14-9, Eddie Guardado 13-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 10-8, Eddie Guardado 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 29, Willie Eyre 3, Eddie Guardado 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31855
Game Time - 3:08
Temperature - 88
Umpires - Home - Paul Schrieber, First Base - Paul Nauert, Second Base - Joe West, Third Base - Ed Rapuano