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ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – The Rangers needed an eighth straight win on Monday night to reach their fourth straight postseason. Rays starter David Price put an abrupt end to both streaks.
Price allowed just two earned runs over nine innings, Evan Longoria was a triple short of the cycle, and the Rays defeated the Rangers 5-2 in an AL Wild Card tiebreaker in Arlington.
The loss ends the season for the Rangers (91-27), while the Rays will continue on to Cleveland for the AL Wild Card Game on Wednesday night.
“We’re disappointed,” said manager Ron Washington following the game. “We certainly expected to keep moving on, but it just didn’t happen.”
Rookie starter Martin Perez (10-6) took the loss for Texas after surrendering three runs on four hits and two walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Perez struck out five, but walked two batters in the first three innings — both of whom scored.
After a leadoff walk and a pair of singles in the first inning, designated hitter Delmon Young sent a deep fly ball to center field to give the Rays an early 1-0 lead.
Perez then walked the leadoff hitter Jennings to start the third, and Longoria blasted his 32nd homerun of the season to push the lead to 3-0.
“That was a good pitch — it was down and in,” said Perez, reflecting on the first pitch to Longoria in the third inning. “He hit the ball good. He’s a good hitter. That’s just part of the game.”
Perez would retire the next eight batters before yielding to reliever Alexi Ogando in the sixth.
The Rangers offense was unable to sustain anything against the reigning AL Cy Young winner Price, who has struggled in his career against Texas. Price entered Monday’s tiebreaker with a 1-7 record and a 6.62 ERA in 11 career starts against Texas.
Ian Kinsler’s RBI single in the third brought the Rangers within 3-1, but Price picked Kinsler off at first to end the threat.
Texas added a run in the sixth, when Alex Rios doubled off the left field wall to score Andrus.
After the Rios double, Price shut the door on the Rangers’ offense, allowing just one hit over the final three innings. The left-hander tossed his fifth complete game of the season and earned just his second with over Texas in 12 attempts.
“You have to tip your hat to him,” said Washington. “I’ve certainly seen him better, but tonight he was able to continue to change speeds and move the ball around on us. When we did center the ball, it was at someone.”
The Rays added an insurance run in the ninth when Sam Fuld scored on a wild pickoff throw by reliever Tanner Scheppers.
Nelson Cruz, who started at DH after serving his 50-game suspension for alleged PED use, went 0-for-4 on the night.
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