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Pair of HRs in 10th lifts Rays to series win

May 31, 2017

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Logan Morrison hit a leadoff home run off Rangers reliever Sam Dyson in the top of the 10th inning, lifting the Rays to a 7-5 victory at Globe Life Park on Wednesday night."I was just trying to get something up in the middle," Morrison said. "First

ARLINGTON -- First baseman Logan Morrison hit a leadoff home run off Rangers reliever Sam Dyson in the top of the 10th inning, lifting the Rays to a 7-5 victory at Globe Life Park on Wednesday night.
"I was just trying to get something up in the middle," Morrison said. "First pitch was down and in. Second pitch ran off. That one was up and middle, and with that slow bat speed, that ran right into my barrel and went out."
Rays catcher Derek Norris added a two-run home run in the 10th after a two-out error by Rangers third baseman Pete Kozma. The Rays took two of three from the Rangers, and have won 10 of their last 15. Dyson fell to 1-6; the six losses are the most by a reliever in the American League.

"You don't have a good feeling when you're up by one," Morrison said. "I know [closer Alex] Colome is really good, but we like to give him a cushion, and [Norris' homer] was really big as well."
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The Rangers were one out away from a 4-3 win in regulation before Kevin Kiermaier tied it with a home run in the ninth off Matt Bush. The Rangers' closer suffered his second blown save of the season, and first since April 3.
"It's always tough losing games," Bush said. "We come out here every day looking forward to winning, it's tough. Our guys battled. [Austin] Bibens-Dirkx did an amazing job in his first start, my hat's off to him. I don't know, kind of a little bit of shock there."
Rangers' bullpen struggling to find 'groove'
Rays starter Chris Archer allowed four runs in seven innings, striking out seven. He recorded 58 strikeouts in May, the most by a Tampa Bay pitcher in a single month in club history.

Bibens-Dirkx went 4 2/3 innings in his first Major League start, allowing three runs on five hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. The Rangers have lost eight of their last 11, and this was the third time this season they have lost when leading after eight.
"Overall, I felt good," Bibens-Dirkx said. "I wanted to go five. I got a little too cute when I got ahead 0-2 or 1-2, and tried to be better than what got me there. If I didn't get cute, my pitch count wouldn't have been as high."
Kiermaier ties it up late:
After retiring the first two batters in the ninth, Bush was one out away from picking up a save. But Kiermaier turned on the first pitch he saw from Bush, a 98-mph fastball that he sent into the right-field bleachers, tying the game at 4. It was the latest game-tying home run Kiermaier has hit in his career. Kiermaier has six home runs this year, three of them coming on pitches of 96 mph or more.
"I was hoping to get a good pitch to hit early," Kiermaier said. "And I was hunting a fastball. And thankfully, I was on time, and put a good swing on a good pitch. I'm glad it had the trajectory and everything to tie the game up. Any time you can hit a homer to tie or go ahead, it's awesome." More >

Souza's deep blast:Steven Souza Jr. gave the Rays a 2-1 lead in the second with a two-run home run. It was his 10th home run of the season -- and his fifth in eight games -- and it came off a first-pitch fastball from Bibens-Dirkx. It had a projected distance of 455 feet, per Statcast™, the longest for the Rays this season.

"There's no doubt, right now they're feeding off each other a little bit. When this guy doesn't get the big hit, it's like the next guy goes to pick him up." -- Rays manager Kevin Cash, on the team's offense
At 32 years and 32 days old, Bibens-Dirkx was the oldest pitcher in Rangers history to be making his first Major League start. The previous record holder was Ross Wolf, who was 30 years and 216 days old when he started against the A's on May 22, 2013.
The Rays challenged the slide rule when Shin-Soo Choo slid into second base, and a safe call at first on the same play with one out in the fifth. After a delay of three minutes and 30 seconds, both calls were confirmed -- there was no violation of the slide rule, and Elvis Andrus was safe at first. The Rangers tied the score at 3 on the play.

The Rangers challenged in the sixth when Colby Rasmus was called safe evading a tag and sliding into third base. After a one-minute review, the call on the field was overturned, and Rasmus was ruled out.

The Rangers challenged again in the seventh when Rays catcher Norris tagged out Kozma at home plate. The Rangers challenged the collision rule, and the out call. After two minutes and 35 seconds, the out call at home was confirmed, and no violation of the collision rule was also confirmed.
Rays:Jake Odorizzi (3-2, 3.14 ERA) will get the nod when the Rays begin a three-game series against the Mariners at 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday at Safeco Field. Odorizzi has given up a homer in 14 of his last 15 starts, dating back to Aug. 30, 2016.
Rangers: Right-hander Yu Darvish will be on the mound against the Astros when the Rangers open a three-game series that begins at 7:05 p.m. CT on Friday at Globe Life Park. Darvish is 0-3 with a 4.35 ERA in his last seven starts against the Astros.
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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for since 2005.