ARLINGTON (AP) – All Adam Rosales had to do was watch four pitches miss their mark.
Tampa Bay’s Cesar Ramos walked Rosales with two outs in the 14th inning to force in the winning run and the Texas Rangers beat the Rays 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Ramos (2-5), the Rays’ seventh pitcher, walked Rosales on four pitches, allowing pinch-running pitcher Nick Martinez to score.
“That’s just unacceptable on my part,” Ramos said.
Texas’ sixth pitcher, Scott Baker (1-3) earned the victory with two scoreless innings. The Rangers had lost all 20 games in which he appeared before Tuesday.
“Baker got the job done, and now he’s got a win,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Geovany Soto reached on third baseman Evan Longoria’s error with one out in the 14th. Martinez entered and advanced on singles by Rougned Odor and Shin-Soo Choo.
“I just kind of went off Elvis’ (Andrus) at-bat,” Rosales said. “He really didn’t give Elvis too many good pitches to hit, so I figured `You’ve got to be really patient with this guy.”‘
Rays manager Joe Maddon said, “Just throw a strike there. Give us a chance.”
In contrast, Texas’ pitchers allowed no walks.
Rangers starter Nick Tepesch allowed no hits until Sean Rodriguez singled to lead off the fifth inning.
Texas tied the score 2-all in the seventh against reliever Joel Peralta. Odor’s sacrifice fly and a double by Choo drove in the runs.
Rays right fielder Kevin Kiermaier then threw out Choo trying to score on Andrus’ single.
Desmond Jennings and Matt Joyce tripled and scored for the Rays’ two runs in the sixth.
Tampa Bay’s Jeremy Hellickson pitched six scoreless innings, allowing six hits. He preserved the Rays’ 2-0 lead in the sixth after Texas put runners on second and third with one out.
Tepesch allowed four hits and no walks in seven innings. Texas’ bullpen went another seven innings without allowing a walk – and only two hits.
“Outstanding,” Washington said. “The biggest one was (Roman) Mendez coming in and getting Longoria (with two out in the eighth).”
Said Rosales: “Thank goodness our pitching staff really kept us in it.”
Rangers: RF Alex Rios (sprained right ankle) wasn’t in the lineup for the second consecutive game, but pinch hit in the 13th inning. … RHP Tanner Scheppers, out for the season with an inflamed elbow, said he would be a reliever next year.
Rays: Kiermaier, who left Monday’s game because of tightness in his left lower back, returned to the lineup.
The teams will play the third game of a four-game set Wednesday night.
Tampa Bay: RHP Chris Archer (7-6, 3.33) hasn’t pitched in Arlington, and is 0-0 with a 2.77 career starts against Texas.
Rangers: RHP Miles Mikolas (1-4), who has lowered his ERA from 10.05 to 6.57 in his last four starts, will face the Rays for the first time.
SNAPPING A SLUMP
Texas CF Leonys Martin, hitless in his previous 12 at-bats, singled four times for his first career four-hit game. He had been 6-for-54 in his previous 16 games.
The Rays won a fifth-inning challenge and lost one in the 10th.
First, Martin was called safe on a slide at second base, but after review he was out. In the 10th, replay confirmed that Zobrist was out at first.
Before the bottom of the second inning, Ivan Rodriguez represented the Rangers in recognizing retired LHP Kenny Rogers. He had the only perfect game in franchise history, on July 28, 1994. Rodriguez caught Rogers that night.
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