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Tampa Bay Rays lose 8-2 to Texas Rangers

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm •  Published: September 19, 2013

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Tampa Bay Rays had a chance to grab some breathing room in the race for the AL wild cards.

Hurt by a shaky outing from Matt Moore, it just didn't work out.

Moore allowed three home runs for the first time this season and Tampa Bay lost 8-2 to the Texas Rangers on Thursday night, leaving the teams tied atop the wild-card standings.

"There's someone responsible for the damage and I'm that person," Moore said. "Going into today I had a chance to keep us on top of the leaderboard as far as the wild card goes. It's frustrating tonight, but we're back at them tomorrow."

Elvis Andrus drove in three runs as Texas salvaged a split of the four-game series. The Rangers won the season series 4-3, and each team has 10 games left.

"It looked like we're starting to get it back together a little bit," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Moore (15-4) gave up six runs, five earned, in four innings. He had allowed just four homers total over his previous 16 starts.

Texas rebounded after losing 4-3 in 12 innings Wednesday night, a game in which closer Joe Nathan couldn't hold a one-run lead in the 11th.

"I was impressed with them tonight after that tough loss last night for them, a great win for us," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It was obvious tonight that they came out to play. They beat us."

The Indians, meanwhile, pulled within a half-game of the wild-card leaders by beating Houston 2-1 in 11 innings. Cleveland has nine games left.

Yu Darvish won for the first time in seven starts since Aug. 12, surviving a 40-pitch first inning in which he hit a batter and walked three, falling behind 2-0. Darvish (13-9) made it through five innings despite walking six, throwing 109 pitches.

"The lack of the stellar performance is not the result of not putting out the effort," Maddon said. "Even though you don't pitch as well as you'd like to, at some point you've got to offensively beat someone up. We had many, many, many opportunities. Darvish is wonderful, but he was totally off of his game tonight with six walks. To not take advantage of that, that was our fault."

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