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Rangers Vs. Rays: Rangers Down 7-3 Through Five Innings

On a warm Friday night at the Ballpark in Arlington, the Tampa Bay Rays quickly jumped ahead of Matt Harrison and the Texas Rangers in the top of the first inning. After a Desmond Jennings lead-off single, Ian Kinsler booted a would-be double play, allowing Carlos Pena to reach base. The next batter, Evan Longoria smashed a 404-foot 3-run home run to dead center, putting the Rays up 3-0. Harrison then walked Ben Zobrist and allowed back-to-back singles to Jeff Keppinger and BJ Upton. Zobrist scored on the Upton single and put the Rays up 4-0

The Rangers tried chipping away in the bottom of the inning with a Kinsler lead-off double off the right field wall. He advanced to third on an Elvis Andrus single and scored on a Josh Hamilton RBI ground out to shortstop. Unfortunately the Rangers could not capitalize more and left two runners on base.

Harrison found himself in trouble again in the third inning. With two outs and runners on first and second, Chris Gimenez bounced a line drive single off the right field wall scoring Keppinger from second. Upton tried to score from first, but Nelson Cruz quickly got the ball in to Andrus who through a strike to Mike Napoli at the plate for the close tag-out.

Harrison got touched up again in the fourth. After giving up a lead-off double to Elliot Johnson, Harrison got the next two hitters, but Longoria knocked in his fourth RBI of the game on a single to left. Zobrist followed that with a deep double to center, scoring Longoria.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Rangers showed some sign of life. Hamilton followed an Andrus single with his ninth home run of the year, a scorching 416-foot line drive to right-center, bringing the score to 7-3.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.