With O's up next, Rays fall to Rangers

With O's up next, Rays fall to Rangers
September 20, 2013, 12:45 am
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(Kim Klement/ USA Today Sports)

The Rays prepared the Orioles’ visit to Tropicana Field starting Friday with an out-of-character, 8-2 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, leaving Tampa Bay and Texas again tied for the two American League wild-card berths. (The Rangers also won the season series between the two, meaning they would get home field for the one-game wild-card matchup — though that didn’t work out for them last year, right, O’s fans?)

The Rays’ Matt Moore, who has been so good this season, coming in riding a seven-game personal winning streak, gave up three home runs (Mitch Moreland, Alex Rios and Elvis Andrus) in one inning and took his first loss in more than three months.

"The middle of their lineup was just giving me a hard time," Moore said (via mlb.com). "I was in some decent counts. Those home runs there, those are pretty tough to work around. Doesn't matter if they're solo if there are three of them, they're going to put you in a hole."

Manager Joe Maddon did not play big-hitting rookie Wil Myers on Thursday, sitting him after Myers failed to charge a ball in the outfield on Wednesday, allowing a run to score in extra innings (though the Rays did end up winning).

"I wanted him to understand the overriding impact it would have as a teammate and as he moves forward, how he would be viewed," Maddon said. "I want him to be viewed positively, and the thing he did wrong [Wednesday] night is totally controllable on his part. He understands all of that. I would be very surprised if it ever happened again. It was a good conversation."