ST. PETERSBURG (620 WDAE) -- For the first time in quite a while, the Tampa Bay Rays end up with a scenario in which they snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Shin-Soo Choo's two-run homer in the ninth off Alex Cobb rallied the Texas Rangers from a 3-1 deficit, and Elvis Andrus' infield single broke the tie an inning later, leading to a 4-3 defeat for the Rays Friday at Tropicana Field.
Texas' first run came in the top of the first inning, when Elvis Andrus took the third pitch of the evening and hit it off the porch facing in center field for his 12th home run of the year.
Tampa Bay rallied with what turned out to be three solo home runs off Rangers' starter Yu Darvish. Brad Miller's fourth home run of the year in the fourth inning tied the game 1-1, while Corey Dickerson's 18th homer, and his first since June 24, broke the tie.
Mallex Smith appeared to give Tampa Bay insurance in the eighth with an opposite-field homer, his second on the year, for a 3-1 lead.
But after eight innings of fantastic pitching, Cobb finally faltered in the ninth, giving up a leadoff double to Joey Gallo, followed by a two-run homer to Choo, his 14th of the year.
Alex Claudio worked a scoreless bottom of the ninth, and Texas took the lead to start the tenth as Brad Boxberger allowed a four-pitch walk to Jonathan Lucroy. Carlos Gomez sacrificed pinch-runner Delino DeShields to second, and Gallo's fly ball to right allowed him to take third. Choo was intentionally walked, and Andrus' ground ball was corralled by Longoria, but he couldn't get his footing, and his throw was well off-line, allowing DeShields to break the tie.
In the home tenth, Claudio allowed a pinch-hit single by Steven Souza Jr., but Adeiny Hechaverria, trying to sacrifice him over, bunted into a 2-6-3 double play, and pinch-hitter Trevor Plouffe flew to left on the very next pitch to end the game.
The loss drops Tampa Bay back to five games over .500 at 51-46.
Chris Archer (7-5, 3.91 ERA) will get the chance to end the skid Saturday, taking on Andrew Cashner (4-8, 3.58 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:10, with coverage on WDAE starting at 6:00 with The Inside Pitch presented by Sykes Lakeland.
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