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Tampa Bay at Texas

Scoreboard
Tampa Bay (3-5)001000000141
Texas (6-2) «00202020x6100

Rangers 6, Rays 1

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nick Tepesch charged a slow grounder by Kelly Johnson and couldn't decide what to do once he got to the ball.

The resulting infield single when the right-hander was cruising along with a two-hitter in the eighth inning of his major league debut was about the only mistake he made.

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Tepesch held Tampa Bay to a run on four hits in 7 1/3 innings, Lance Berkman had a key two-run single among three hits and the Texas Rangers beat the Rays 6-1 Tuesday night.

"I should have picked it up and thrown it to first, but the way it spun I for some reason thought it might go foul," Tepesch said. "Just kind of a bad decision, to be honest with you."

A bad decision, perhaps, but one made amid a bunch of good pitches from Tepesch, a 24-year-old in his third pro season out of Missouri who won the No. 5 starter's spot in spring training while the Rangers wait for Colby Lewis to return from elbow surgery.

After a couple of shaky innings early, Tepesch retired 12 straight batters before Johnson's dribbler up the first-base line. When Desmond Jennings followed with his second double, manager Ron Washington visited the mound for a chat that lasted several seconds before he gave Tepesch a pat on the chest and signaled to the bullpen.

"Tremendous makeup," Washington said. "Trusts his stuff, knows what he's capable of doing. Never gets outside of himself. Those are the traits we saw in spring training."

Roberto Hernandez (0-2) gave up eight hits and six runs --- five earned -- in 6 2/3 innings.

Berkman put Texas ahead 2-1 in the third on a two-run bloop single that just eluded diving second baseman Ben Zobrist in right-center. Ian Kinsler scored from first after breaking quickly and getting around third just as the ball was landing.

Texas reliever Jason Frasor got Shelley Duncan on a fly to right for the final out, a much less dramatic ending than Monday when Joe Nathan earned his 300th save on a strike call that plate umpire Marty Foster later acknowledged was wrong.

"We lost the battle of inches," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Berkman hits a softie to center. That's how the ball rolls sometimes."

After a 1-2-3 first, Tepesch walked the bases loaded in the second, getting a visit from pitching coach Mike Maddux after a two-out pass to Yunel Escobar. Tepesch walked Jose Molina after Maddux left, but struck out Johnson on three pitches, the last a 79 mph curveball after hitting 94 mph on a fastball to Evan Longoria earlier in the inning.

Jennings had a leadoff double in the third, but the Rays only got one run after consecutive groundouts from Matt Joyce, Zobrist, who drove home Jennings, and Evan Longoria.

"Big league debuts can usually go one of two ways. They can either go really well or go really bad," Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. "Once he got out of the second and third innings, you could see it kind of relaxed him and we got him a lead and he really settled in and did a great job."

Robbie Ross kept Tepesch's line intact by getting Joyce on a popout and Zobrist on a grounder with runners at second and third.

"Well, I guess you could have thrown a complete-game shutout, but other than that ..." Berkman said. "That's pretty tough to beat. He pitched great."

Leonys Martin, born the same year as Tepesch but no longer a rookie because of too much service time last year, had two singles and scored three times for the Rangers.

Martin started the seventh with a single, went to third when Kinsler was thrown out trying to stretch a single and scored when Elvis Andrus hit a slow roller up the third base line. Berkman doubled and was replaced by pinch-runner Craig Gentry, who scored from second on an error by first baseman James Loney to put the Rangers up 6-1.

Zobrist, who was at the plate for Foster's botched call on Monday, went 0 for 4 with an RBI.

Notes

The Rangers are leaning toward skipping LHP Matt Harrison in the rotation Thursday at Seattle because of a sore back. He's still scheduled to start, but canceled a bullpen session Tuesday. ... Rays RHP Jeff Niemann said his decision to have season-ending shoulder surgery came after his arm simply didn't respond to a move to the bullpen. The former starter said it was difficult trying to get ready to pitch every day. He estimated the recovery time at nine to 12 months.

 
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

L. Berkman
AB 4
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
Tampa Bay

D. Jennings
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 
Tampa Bay Rays
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Desmond Jennings, CF4120000 .250
Matt Joyce, RF3000011 .174
   a- Sean Rodriguez, PH-RF1000002 .143
Ben Zobrist, 2B4001002 .345
Evan Longoria, 3B3000100 .370
James Loney, 1B4010000 .217
Shelley Duncan, DH4000022 .222
Yunel Escobar, SS2000101 .111
Jose Molina, C2000100 .231
Kelly Johnson, LF3010023 .158
Totals3014135  
a-fouled out for Joyce in the 8th
Batting
2B - Desmond Jennings 2 (4, Tepesch, Tepesch)
RBI - Ben Zobrist (8)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Kelly Johnson 1
E - James Loney (1, Misplayed grounder)
Tampa Bay Rays
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Roberto Hernandez (L,0-2) 6.2865240 6.08
Jake McGee 0.1100000 22.50
Brandon Gomes 1100010 2.25
IBB - Beltre by Roberto Hernandez
HBP - Kinsler (by Roberto Hernandez), Cruz (by Roberto Hernandez)
WP - Roberto Hernandez (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Roberto Hernandez 113-76, Jake McGee 9-6, Brandon Gomes 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Roberto Hernandez 11-4, Jake McGee 2-0, Brandon Gomes 1-1
Batters Faced - Roberto Hernandez 31, Jake McGee 3, Brandon Gomes 4
Texas Rangers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ian Kinsler, 2B4120011 .323
Elvis Andrus, SS4112013 .250
Lance Berkman, DH4032001 .480
    Craig Gentry, PR-DH0100000 .300
Adrian Beltre, 3B3001102 .188
David Murphy, LF4000001 .133
Nelson Cruz, RF3010020 .387
A.J. Pierzynski, C4000014 .346
Mitch Moreland, 1B4010001 .214
Leonys Martin, CF3320101 .188
Totals33610525  
Batting
2B - Lance Berkman (4, R. Hernandez)
SH - Elvis Andrus (1)
RBI - Elvis Andrus 2 (5), Lance Berkman 2 (7), Adrian Beltre (3)
2-OUT RBI - Lance Berkman 2 (2)
SB - Elvis Andrus (2, 2nd base off R. Hernandez/Molina)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Andrus-Kinsler-Moreland
Texas Rangers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Nick Tepesch (W,1-0) 7.1411350 1.23
Robbie Ross 0.2000000 0.00
Jason Frasor 1000000 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Nick Tepesch 104-62, Robbie Ross 6-4, Jason Frasor 12-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Nick Tepesch 14-2, Robbie Ross 1-1, Jason Frasor 1-2
Batters Faced - Nick Tepesch 28, Robbie Ross 2, Jason Frasor 3
Game Information
Attendance - 31398
Game Time - 2:44
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Scott Barry, First Base - Tim Welke, Second Base - Mike Everitt, Third Base - Marty Foster