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Rays Slug Out Win In Opener Over Rangers

A night after needing 15 innings to defeat the Minnesota Twins, the Tampa Bay Rays rallied from deficits of 4-1, 5-3 and 7-5 to defeat the Texas Rangers 10-8 Monday at Globe Life Park.

After taking an early 1-0 lead on an RBI groundout by Evan Longoria, the first of four runs the third baseman would drive in, the Rangers jumped on Erasmo Ramirez, who had become the first pitcher in Major League Baseball in nearly 33 years to save a game and start the next day.  Shin-Soo Choo started with a walk, followed by a single by Elvis Andrus.  Nomar Mazara's double brought in both runners, and after Adrian Beltre, making his 2017 debut, singled him to third, Roughned Odor's sacrifice fly made it a 3-1 lead.

Joey Gallo led off the home second with his 16th home run of the season to make it 4-1, but the Rays sliced into the deficit in the third with an RBI single by Corey Dickerson, followed by a fielder's choice grounder by Longoria.

Ramirez would leave in the home third, and though Jose Alvarado kept Texas off the board in that frame, he could not do so in the fourth, with Robinson Chirinos singling in Gallo to again stretch the Texas lead back to a pair of runs.

Longoria got the game tied in the fifth with a two-out, two-strike, two-run homer off Martin Perez, his eighth home run of the year.

Jose De Leon, making his Rays debut in the sixth, allowed a two-run single to Shin-Soo Choo to fall behind, but Tampa Bay rallied in the top of the seventh.  Steven Souza Jr. doubled to left off reliever Jeremy Jeffress, his third of four hits on the night.  Ranger manager Jeff Banister then brought in left-hander Alex Claudio to face Correy Dickerson.  Claudio hit the outfielder with his first pitch, and both runners moved up a base on a groundout by Longoria.  Logan Morrison struck out for the second out of the inning, but instead of leaving Claudio in to face Rickie Weeks Jr., Banister decided to bring in right-hander Tony Barnette, allowing Rays skipper Kevin Cash to counter with Colby Rasmus.  Rasmus came through with a double that tied the game, and after Kevin Kiermaier was intentionally walked, Tim Beckham broke the tie with a three-run blast to left-center for a 10-7 lead.

De Leon (1-0) gave up a solo homer to Choo in the eighth, but Texas would get no closer, as Chase Whitley got beltre to fly out to end the eighth and Alex Colome struck out the side in the ninth to earn his 14th save.

The win gets Tampa bay to two-games over .500 on the season at 28-26.

The Rays can win their straight road series with a victory Tuesday.  Matt Andriese (5-1, 3.24 ERA) gets the start, taking on Nick Martinez (1-3, 4.69 ERA).  First pitch is scheduled for 8:05, with coverage on WDAE starting at 7:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.

Photo: Getty Images

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