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.
Good news in Boston: An MRI on Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi‘s left knee revealed no structural damage.
Benintendi slipped while trying to avoid a tag at second base, injuring his leg, but it appears he’s avoided a serious injury. A timetable for his return isn’t known at this point, but the Red Sox expect to get him back before the end of the season.
Benintendi is hitting .324/.365/.485 with a homer and ten RBI in 21 games.
And then there was one. One player from the 2008 World Series champs, that is. Ryan Howard likely isn’t going anywhere so he’ll be the last one to turn the lights off, but today Carlo Ruiz bid adieu to the Phillies following his trade to Los Angeles.
Lost in all of the emotions the Dodgers are reported to be feeling about A.J. Ellis leaving is the fact that Ruiz was one of the most beloved Phillies players ever, by both his teammates and their fans. Yesterday Roy Halladay penned a heartfelt goodbye to Ruiz, suggesting that he was every bit as essential to his and the Phillies’ success as Ellis has been to Clayton Kershaw (and in pure baseball production, obviously, quite more).
Today Chooch left a message for his now former teammates: