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Overworked Bullpen Finally Cracks In Texas

After throwing nearly 16 innings the previous two games, the Tampa Bay Rays saw Matt Andriese go down to injury and the Texas Rangers tood advantage, scoring seven runs in the final two innings to come back to defeat the Rays 9-5 Tuesday at Globe Life Park.

Rays starter Matt Andriese got off to a bad start, with Shin-Soo Choo leading off the game with a solo homer.  Elvis Andrus followed with a double and he scored on a base hit by Nomar Mazara for a 2-0 lead.

Andriese was forced from the game with two out in the second inning with a mild groin strain, meaning an already overworked bullpen was going to be taxed more.

Texas maintained the lead until the third, as Daniel Robertson led off that inning with a solo homer, his fourth of the year.  Corey Dickerson followed on a double to left on a pitch that bounced in front of the plate, moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kevin Kiermaier and tying the game on a sacrifice fly by Evan Longoria.  Logan Morrison walked and Steven Souza Jr. followed with his ninth homer of the year, giving Tampa Bay the lead 4-2.

Chih-Wei Hu worked 2 1/3 innings after Andriese's exit, and Tommy Hunter followed by putting up a pair of zeroes

Kevin Kiermaier extended the Rays' lead to 5-2 in the fifth, lifting his fifth home run of the season to center field.

But the Rangers would rally back in the seventh, as Elvis Andrus tied the game off Danny Farquhar with a three-run homer with two out.

The wheels then fell off in the eighth, as Jonathan Lucroy blooped a one-out single off Chase Whitley (1-1), and Joey Gallo blooped a single away from the right-field shift.  Ryan Rua walked to load the bases and Jared Hoying broke the tie with a base hit.  Choo lifted a sacrifice fly to right to give the Rangers insurance, and Elvis Andrus singled in Rua and Hoying to set the score at 9-5.

The loss drops Tampa Bay back to one game over .500 on the year at 28-27.

The Rays can still take the series with a win in Wednesday's rubber match, as Chris Archer (4-3, 3.61 ERA) takes on Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-0, 3.97 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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