The Rangers are no longer atop the AL Wild Card standings as they lost their seventh consecutive game Monday in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Matt Garza was no match for his former team and Rays starter Alex Cobb, as Garza gave up six runs and failed to go five innings for his second consecutive start as the Rangers fell to Tampa Bay, 6-2.
Cobb threw eight innings, allowing two runs and striking out ten Rangers.
A four-run fifth inning was the difference-maker for the Rays. Nine Tampa Bay hitters came to the plate in the inning.
Garza allowed four consecutive hits, including RBI singles from James Loney and Evan Longoria, before being pulled by manager Ron Washington. Jason Frasor was summoned from the ‘pen, and allowed both inherited runners to score on a Wil Myers double off the center field wall at Tropicana Field.
Myers also started the scoring for the Rays, as he deposited an opposite-field home run just inside the right field foul pole, his thirteenth of the year.
Rays starter Alex Cobb retired the first nine Rangers he faced on just 29 pitches.
Ian Kinsler lined a fourth-inning double to right field for the first Ranger base runner of the game, and the first extra-base hit for Texas in 17 innings. Kinsler advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt, but was erased in a rundown between third and home on a chopper to third by Alex Rios.
A.J. Pierzynski laced a two-out, RBI single to right field after Rios stole second and moved to third on a passed ball.
Ian Kinsler hit his second double of the night just on the fair side of first base in the fifth inning, scoring Mitch Moreland. Moreland broke out of a 0-for-22 slump with a one-out double earlier in the inning.
Kinsler was caught in his second rundown to end the sixth.
The Rays answered with their second run of the game on a Desmond Jennings sacrifice fly in the bottom of the fourth inning. A wild pitch by Garza put runners at second and third to set up the productive Tampa out.
Leonys Martin kept the deficit at one in the bottom of the third inning as he gunned down Yunel Escobar at home plate with a laser from center field. It was outfield assist no. 14 for Martin.
Robbie Ross and Joe Ortiz pitched the sixth through eighth innings, posting three zeros in the box score.
Jamey Wright was the only Ray not named Alex Cobb to take the mound Monday, pitching a perfect ninth that included a strikeout of Lance Berkman to end the game.
The Rangers continue their four-game series with the new Wild Card leaders Tuesday night.