Wilson Ramos had three hits and two RBIs and Mallex Smith had a career-high-tying four hits to back the excellent pitching of Blake Snell as the Tampa Bay Rays rolled past the Texas Rangers 8-4 on Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Snell (2-1) hurled 6 1/3 innings, allowing just one run on five hits with nine strikeouts and no walks, to help the Rays snap a four-game losing streak.
Snell got plenty of early offensive help as Tampa Bay scored all eight of its runs in the first four innings off Texas starter Martin Perez (1-2). Perez allowed 10 hits over his four innings of work, with four strikeouts and three walks.
Tampa Bay took a 1-0 lead in the first inning as Ramos' single plated Joey Wendle.
The Rays then added four runs in the second, with two scoring on a Wendle groundout and throwing error by Texas shortstop Jurickson Profar. Carlos Gomez and Ramos followed with RBI singles to move the score to 5-0.
After his errant throw, Profar hit the ground hard following a collision with a sliding Smith near second base. Profar left the game and was placed in concussion protocol; the Rangers said he'll be re-evaluated Tuesday. Drew Robinson replaced him in the contest.
After an unearned run in the third pushed the Tampa Bay lead to 6-0, the Rangers' Joey Gallo hit his sixth home run of the year in the top of the fourth inning to give Texas some life and cut the deficit to 6-1.
Tampa Bay responded in the bottom of the frame with solo home runs by C.J. Cron and Daniel Robertson.
Texas closed the gap to 8-4 in the eighth on a three-run home run by Nomar Mazara.
Tampa Bay third baseman Matt Duffy had to leave the game in the top of the third with right hamstring tightness. The Rays announced that he is day to day and will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Matt Moore (0-3, 8.76 ERA) will take to the mound on Tuesday for the Rangers while Tampa Bay will counter with a mix of pitchers from its bullpen, with the starter to be determined.
--Field Level Media