Rangers vs Rays summary online: stats, scores and highlights | MLB Wild Card Game 2 highlights
Rangers 7-1 Rays in masterful performance
The Rangers decide to show up and show out
For so much of the 2023 season, the Texas Rangers were unbeatable. Their offense was unstoppable, their pitching unhittable. And then injury set in. Fatigue, both in pitching arms and just generally, dogged the Rangers through late August and September.
They don’t call them “the dog days of summer” for nothing.
Their fall was prodigious, and much-celebrated by AL West and in-state rivals Houston, who pipped the Rangers at the post for the division title.
Nathan Eovaldi was the poster boy for this Rangers season. He leapt off the starting blocks, putting together masterful performance after masterful performance, throwing complete games and shutouts galore. He was the only serious name in the Cy Young conversation through July.
And then he fell off. Injury plagued him and he has been middling at best since his return. Kept to a strict pitch count and basically a shadow of his former self.
Texas also had the most prolific offense in MLB through August, outscoring every other team with ease. And then, just as their pitching suffered setbacks, their bats went cold as well. They finished the season as the third-highest scoring team, behind the Braves and the Dodgers.
The back end of September saw an inconsistent Rangers team who showed flashes of their early-season dominance, but in bursts that were unsustainable.
All of the stars seemed to align for Bruce Bochy and the boys today. Going into Tropicana Field, the toughest baseball field to visit, and sweeping the Rays sees the Rangers of old come back into focus.
Nathan Eovaldi found his form, throwing 6.2 outstanding innings, surrendering only six hits and one run with eight strikeouts.
But the key to the win was the Ranger bats finally came alive. Bruce Bochy said after the series loss to Seattle that ended the season, that he was not happy with the way the Rangers were “home run or bust” and that they needed to “use all of the field” with their bats. They did that tonight, scoring seven runs on twelve hits.
The Rays had a stinker of a Wild Card series, looking more like a 99 loss team than a 99 win one. Their errors cost them game one and their lack of production with the bat game two. Looking dazed and confused for most of the last two days, the Rays have a feeling of a team happy to see the end of the season.
After Game 1, Jonah Heim stated the team ethos for the press, saying that the focus for the Rangers has always been "Gotta get here. Now we're here, gotta show out."
The Rangers showed out in Tampa and showed the world that when they show up, there is no team in baseball that can stop them. Now, as they head to Baltimore to face the Orioles in the ALDS, the question is, which of these two Rangers teams will show up?
That is going to do it for our live coverage of Game 2 between the Rangers and Rays. We hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Keep abreast of all MLB and sports news with Diario AS USA and stick with us as we bring you the full playoff season live.
With the Rangers vs Rays series ended and the Twins vs Blue Jays looking likely to end tonight as well, we will return tomorrow for either the Miami vs Philadelphia game or the Arizona vs Milwaukee game, depending on which one goes ahead.
Until then, good night and God bless!
An interesting stat
First road team in 13 years. Since the Rangers did it... against the Rays
The Rangers sweep the Rays and advance to the Division Series against the Baltimore Orioles.
Leclerc delivers the 3-2 pitch and Mead watches a fastball for a strike! That was very borderline, but that ends the game! The Rangers sweep the Rays!
Curtis Mead represents the last out for the Rays season. There are two runners in scoring position and two outs.
Margot works the count to 2-2 before chasing a terrible slider, miles outside for strike three.
Manuel Margot the hitter with runners on second and third and only one out. Andrew Heaney gets up and starts loosening up in the Rangers bullpen.
Isaac Paredes up now and he ropes a shot to left! It is down the line and Ramírez heads to third on a one out double for Paredes.
The Rays aren't quite done yet.
Josh Lowe the batter and he bangs a shot to deep left! Evan Carter drifts back, to the track, to the wall, and makes the catch just in front of the wall. Lowe missed it by a couple of feet. One out.
Ramírez jumps on the first delivery from Leclerc and lines a shot into center field for a leadoff single. That is what the Rays need!
Harold Ramírez will lead off for the Rays and they are down to their last three outs.
Jose Leclerc will come on for Josh Sborz to see if he can slam the door shut on the Rays' season.
Nathaniel Lowe up now and he fouls off two before offering at a sinker for strike three.
Adolis Garcia now up for the Rangers and he bloops a little pop fly to second for Curtis Mead for out number two.
Robbie Grossman leads off for Texas in the ninth and works the count to 2-2 before getting jelly-legged by a lovely breaking ball for strike three.
Randy Arozarena jumps on the first pitch and chops one to shortstop. Corey Seager fields it and makes the throw to first to end the inning and the Rays go 1-2-3. They are running out of outs with the Rangers still leading 7-1.
Yandy Díaz the hitter and he pokes one up the middle, but Seager gets to it and makes the throw to first for the second out.
René Pinto leads things off for Tampa and will try and get something started here in the eighth.
Sborz attacks the zone with fastballs and Pinto goes down swinging at an elevated 97mph four seamer.
Corey Seager up now and Littell comes after him with breaking balls. Seager goes down swinging at a big sweeper to end the inning.
Marcus Semien jumps on the second delivery and flies it out to center field for Manuel Margot. Two down.
Evan Carter the hitter now and he has a strong at bat, fouling off five pitches before being hit by the 2-2 delivery. It caught him in the ankle and that has to be frustrating for Littell.
Josh Jung leads off for Texas against the new pitcher and he gets nothing but breaking pitches, setting him up for the elevated fastball. he swings through it for strike three. One down.
The Rays will bring on Zack Littell to pitch now, taking over from Shawn Armstrong.
Sborz delivers and he is having trouble finding the strike zone. Three straight balls before getting a strike. The next pitch is a hanginig slider that is lifted high to left, but Evan Carter is able to get under it and put it away to end the inning.
The Rays finally get on the board, but they still have a lot of ground to make up. After seven, the trail 7-1.
The Rays will send up Junior Caminero to hit for Taylor Walls against the new pitcher.
That is going to be it for Nathan Eovaldi and he has been outstanding tonight! But Bruce Bochy is taking no chances and dips into his bullpen and calls for Josh Sborz to take over.
Curtis Mead the hitter with two outs and men still on first and second. He fouls off four in a row before getting a ball.
Another foul and another ball make it 2-2. The delivery is lined into left! The Rays send Paredes and the throw is off line. The Rays are on the board!
Manuel Margot up to the plate and he has runners on first and second with one out. He pops one to shallow center for Taveras, who puts it away. Two down.
Isaac Paredes now the hitter and he grounds one to third, off the glove of Josh Jung, dribbling into center field and everybody is safe!
Josh Lowe up now and he jumps on the first pitch, dribbling it through the gap at short for a single.
Harold Ramírez leads things off for the Rays and they are beginning to run out of time. They need an almost miraculous comeback to get back into this game.
Ramírez fights off a few, fouling off a couple to make it 2-2. The pitch is grounded hard to short where Corey Seager fields it, makes the throw to first for out number one.
Leody Taveras the hitter now and he works the count full before the payoff pitch is lifted out to left field for Randy Arozarena to end the inning.
Jonah Heim now up and he fouls three in a row back before looping one out to center field, but right at Manuel Margot for the second out.
Nathaniel Lowe now the hitter and he smashes the 1-2 delivery to shallow left center for a single.
Adolis Garcia will lead things off for the Rangers, facing the new pitcher. Armstrong goes after him and Garcia's aggression works against him as a beautiful fastball rides outside and Garcia swings and misses for strike three.
Shawn Armstrong will take over the pitching duties from Colin Poche for Tampa Bay.
Randy Arozarena now and he chops one to third, deep in the hole, and Jung makes a bullet of a throw to get him out on a bang-bang play! What a throw!
The Rays go 1-2-3 and Nathan Eovaldi is throwing a masterclass tonight!
Yandy Díaz now the hitter and he lifts a routine fly bal to center for Leody Taveras. Two away.
René Pinto will lead off for the Rays and he gets into trouble quickly with two strikes. He manages to foul one off before a peach of a slider catches him swinging for out number one.
Robbie Grossman up now and he ploops a little fly ball to first where Yandy Diaz makes a great over-the-shoulder catch to end the inning. But the Rangers tag on more runs and the rout is on! After six, it's Texas 7, Tampa Bay 0.
Corey Seager now and he rides a rope to right field for yet another double! Marcus Semien scores on the play and the Rangers are up 7-0!
Marcus Semien to the plate now and he manages to get a 2-2 count with four foul balls before smashing a long shot toward the gap in left center for a double. Jung scores on the play! The Rangers are now up 6-0
Evan Carter the hitter and he goes down swinging at a nasty slider. That is Carter's first post season plate appearance where he hasn't reached base. Two down.
Ground rule double
Josh Jung up now and he rips the first pitch to left. It bounces and gets stuck in the padding on the wall for a ground-rule double.
Leody Taveras leads off for Texas and gets in a hole quickly, fouling off the first four pitches before watching a peach of a fastball for a called strike three.
The Rays will bring on Colin Poche to take over from Zach Eflin.
Taylor Walls the hitter now and he grounds one to second. 4-6-3 double play, Marcus Semien to Corey Seager to Nathaniel Lowe, and the Rangers get out of the inning with no damage done. Nathan Eovaldi is throwing five innings of shutout ball.
Curtis Mead up now and on the first pitch, Jonah Heim is called for catcher's interference. It was a check swing that tapped his mitt, but that is enough. Mead gets a pass to first base.
Manuel Margot leads off for the Rays and he lines the second delivery to center, but Leody Taveras is there to put it away. One down.
Jonah Heim lifts one to center for Manuel Margot, and that ends the inning. But the Rangers tack on another one to lead after five, 5-0.
Nathaniel Lowe chops a hight bouncer to the mound. Zach Eflin fields it and goes to first for the out. Corey Seager scores. Robbie Grossman moves up to second.
Adolis Garcia now and he jumps on the first pitch, hitting a lined shot to third where Isaac Paredes makes an outstanding stabbing catch!
Robbie Grossman up now and he poops a little grounder that sneaks through at second for a single to center field. Seager advances to third. Men now at first and third with nobody out.
Corey Seager leads off and rips the first delivery to second, where it is bobbled by Curtis Mead. No throw to first and Seager reaches on an error.
Isaac Paredes fouls off two breaking balls before whiffing through a fastball for strike three.
Josh Lowe goes after the first pitch and lines one sharply to right, but directly to Adolis Garcia. Two gone.
Harold Ramirez now and he chases the 2-2 delivery to strike out swinging at a beautiful curve. One down
Randy Arozarena jumps on the second pitch and rips a single to center field to lead things off.
Marcus Semien now up and gets three low breaking balls, going down swinging to end the inning. But the Rangers have jumped out to a 4-0 lead after four.
Home Run Carter!
Evan Carter up now and he jumps on the first pitch, sending it waaaay back to right field. That is gone! Home run for Evan Carter and the Rangers are up by four!
Jung lifts the 3-2 delivery into right field. Josh Lowe dives for it but can't come up with it. Taveras scores! Jung tries for third and the throw is not in time, and he is in there with a triple!
Josh Jung now up and on the 2-2 pitch Taveras takes off. The pitch is in the dirt and there is no throw. Stolen base!
Leody Taveras jumps on the first pitch and lines it into center field for a two out single.
Jonah Heim up now and he rips a shot on the screws to first base, but right at Yandy Díaz for out number two.
Nathaniel Lowe the hitter and he gets in a hole quickly before going after a beautiful high cutter for strike three.
Adolis Gargia will lead off for Texas in the fourth and he crushes a long fly ball to left! It is waaaaay back and gone! Home run, Garcia!
Back to the top of the order now and Yandy Díaz who lifts a little blooper to short for Corey Seager, and it is a 1-2-3 inning for the Rangers.
Pinto goes after an elevated fastball on the next delivery and strikes out swinging. Two down.
René Pinto to hit now and he fouls the first four pitches off before Eovaldi misses with a splitter and fastball to bring it to 2-2.
Taylor Walls leads off for the Rays here in the third and Eovaldi gets a 2-2 count before Walls swings at a low cutter for strike three. One down.
Grossman works the count to 2-2 before swinging through a beautiful sinker to end the inning.
The Rays get out of trouble without allowing a run.
Robbie Grossman will hit now with men at the corners and two out.
Zach Eflin decides that he will not face Corey Seager, giving him an intentional walk.
Semien chops one to third for Paredes, who goes to second for the 5-4-3 double play. Jung advances to third on the play.
Back to the top of the order now with Marcus Semien who has men of first and second and no out. Semien rips a shot down the right field side! It is long and lands just foul in front of the wall! That was close!
Evan Carter to the plate now with a man in scoring position and no outs. Eflin gets in trouble with a full count before losing him on a ball low and inside.
Josh Jung will lead off for Texas here in the third and Efflin hangs a curve that Jung rips to left field. Randy Arozarena dives but cant get to it. The ball carens to the wall and Jung is in with a leadoff double.
Curtis Mead now and Eovaldi stays low with braking balls, getting Mead to chase a splitter in the dirt for strike three. Heim goes to first to confirm the out and the inning is over.
We have played two, still scoreless.
Manuel Margot now up and Eovaldi goes deep into a full count again before the payoff delivery gets lined hard into right center for a two out single.
Isaac Paredes now hitting and he works the count full before watching a peach of a curve ball go by for strike three. Two down.
Josh Lowe, the younger of the two Lowe brothers will lead off for Tampa in the second. Eovaldi delivers a middle-middle fastball that Lowe lifts to deep left field. Evan Carter is there and gets under it for the first out.
Leody Taveras to hit and he lines it to first. Yandy Díaz makes the diving catch and steps on the bag to double up Heim, who had no chance to get back. Unassisted double play ends the inning.
Jonah Heim now and he rips the 2-2 delivery past the first baseman and into right field for a single.
Nathaniel Lowe will lead off for the Rangers here in the second and Efflin gets iin trouble with a full count. The payoff pitch is rapped to center field for Manuel Margot. One down.
Harold Ramirez now up and he chops one to short for the easy 6-4-3 double play. Corey Seager to Marcus Semien to Nathaniel Lowe to end the inning.
Randy Arozarena the hitter now and after running the count to 1-2, he chases a lovely splitter for strike three. One down.
Yandy Díaz gets us started and he jumps on the first pitch, slotting it to right field for a leadoff single.
Nathan Eovaldi will get things going for Texas here on the mound and he will face Yandy Diaz, Randy Arozarena, and Harold Ramirez at the top of the Rays order.
Adolis Garcia the hitter now and he chops one to short stop. The routine play to first ends the inning.
The DH Robbie Grossman now up and he pops one to foul territory by first base. Yandy Diaz is there and puts it away for the second out.
Corey Seager jumps on the second pitch and cranks one over the head of center fielder Manuel Margot. It bounces off the wall and Seager will have a double.
Margot got a bad read on that one and stepped in before getting tripped up as he went back.
Zach Efflin will be on the mound for the Tampa Bay Rays tonight, facing Marcus Semien who leads off for the Rangers.
The teams are ready and Efflin delivers a sinker that Semien flies out to right field for the first out. One pitch, one out.
Wishing love and healing for the Lowe family
This is terrible news. We wish nothing but love and healing for the Lowe family.
Both teams are on the field and warming up, we ar just about 20 minutes away from the first pitch. Will the Rays bounce back from last night's terrible performance? Or will the Rangers go ahead and close this one out in two?
All will be answered in a few minutes!
An interesting rivalry tonight will see Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe competing for bragging rights around the dinner table against his little brother Josh Lowe in the Tampa Bay Rays outfield.
Josh was not in the lineup for Game 1, as the lone lefty in this Rays lineup, it was thought best to start José Siri against Jordan Montgomery. But tonight, with Nathan Eovaldi throwing from the right hand side, Josh Lowe is back in center field.
The Home Team
Rays Batting Order
1. Díaz (1B) *R
2. Arozarena (LF) *R
3. Ramírez (DH)*R
4. Lowe (RF) *L
5. Paredes (3B) *R
6. Margot (RF) *R
7. Mead (2B) *R
8. Walls (SS) *S
9. Pinto (C) *R
Rangers Batting Order
1. Semien (2B) *R
2. Seager (SS) *L
3. Grossman (DH) *S
4. García (RF) *R
5. Lowe (1B) *L
6. Heim (C) *S
7. Taveras (CF) *S
8. Jung (3B) *R
9. Carter (LF) *L
STARTING PITCHERS REGULAR SEASON STATS
TAMPA BAY RAYS
Zach Eflin (RHP)
16 - 8
Nathan Eovaldi (RHP)
12 - 5
Pre All Star break, Nathan Eovaldi looked like a shoo-in for the Cy Young Award. He was lights out, in every possible way. Throwing hard with funky movement and able to go deep into a game, notching up a couple of complete games in May and June.
And then that old bugbear forearm tightness, the harbinger of Tommy John everywhere, reared it’s ugly head and Eovaldi went onto the injured list.
Since returning, the Rangers have made light work of him, keeping him on a strict pitch count. More importantly, however, his stuff seemed to lose a little bit in the process. Movement not quite as nasty, speed not quite as spicy.
The Rangers and Eovaldi might be willing to push the boat out a little for the World Series or even the Championship Series, but at this early stage it is safe to say that the Rangers will be looking to manage a bullpen game tonight.
Tampa Bay will call on Zach Eflin to get them back into this race. Scoring runs is something that the Rays bats can handle, but through the regular season, they finished second to the Texas Rangers in total offense, so they need to concentrate on shutting those Ranger bats down.
Picked up from Philadelphia, Eflin has experience in going the long road through the Wild Card to get to the World Series, so the size of the stage will not worry him in the slightest. What is more is that in a Rays rotation that has suffered their own injuries to limp into the playoffs, Efflin has been the standout solid, reliable arm.
With other pitchers slated as the star of the rotation, Efflin’s durability has made him the rock around which this entire squad has revolved.
Welcome to the Diario AS USA live commentary of Game 2 of the 2023 Wild Card matchup between the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays from Tropicana Field in St Petersburg, Florida.
Game 1 saw the Texas Rangers take the win, posting four runs on a stale and unglued Tampa Bay Rays team who seemed to be surprised and somewhat befuddled to find a baseball game in progress.
Much of the win in Game 1 has to be placed at the feet of Jordan Montgomery, who had an effervescent outing, ripping through the Rays lineup time and again. Tonight will be a whole different kettle of fish, with the Rangers slating Nathan Eovaldi to start, we can expect shorter work and more production off the Tampa Bay bats.
Nearly every sports book has Tampa winning Game 2, and with good reason. These two teams are the top scorers in the American League and either one is a solid candidate to go all the way in the post season. Getting swept would seem a statistical unlikelihood from either of these teams.
That Texas Rangers bullpen has been beat up lately and with a starter expected to go only three or four innings, there is a wide opening for that prolific Tampa Bay Rays offense to do some damage. Besides, silencing those Rays bats in one game is one thing. Doing it in two? That is a different story.
On the other side of the coin, however, the sports book had the odds on Tampa in Game 1 as well, and the Rangers flipped the script on that. Never count Texas out.