Longoria homers, Davis cruises as Rays lead Game 4

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This series might be headed back to The Trop.

The Rays, pummeled by the Rangers in Games 1 and 2 back in Tampa, are now leading Texas 5-2 in the seventh inning of Sunday’s ALDS Game 4 in Arlington.  Rays rookie Wade Davis fanned seven batters and allowed just two runs, looking mature in situations that required serious damage control.  Evan Longoria is 2-for-3 with a homer and two RBI.  Carlos Pena has an RBI and two runs scored.

The Rangers didn’t get the start they were hoping for out of youngster Tommy Hunter, who was pulled from the game after allowing three runs and six hits over four innings of work.  Nelson Cruz homered in the bottom of the sixth, but it was a solo shot.  A three-run deficit won’t be easy to overcome.

If the Rays hang on, they’ll tie the five-game series at 2-2.  Look for a battle of left-handed aces in Game 5 with Cliff Lee going for the Rangers and David Price taking the home-field mound at Tropicana Field.

In the meantime, the Yankees will continue to rest their banged-up players.  They swept the Twins on their own side of the ALDS and the ALCS doesn’t kick off until Friday night.

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.