Rays top Rangers again, force Game 5 showdown

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Game 5 it is.

The Rays scored early and managed to hang on for a Game 4 ALDS victory on Sunday afternoon in Arlington, Texas, forcing a series-deciding showdown scheduled for Tuesday at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay.

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria homered and hit two doubles, Carlos Pena had a double and a triple, and rookie Wade Davis struck out seven batters over a solid five-inning outing as the Rays rolled to a 5-2 win.  Rafael Soriano finished it all off with a flawless ninth, earning his first postseason save.

The Rangers had their way with the Rays in the first two games of the series, taking meeting No. 1 by a score of 5-1 and the second meeting by a score of 5-0.  But the Rays woke up on their flight to Texas and have outplayed the Rangers on consecutive days. 

Tampa will send left-handed ace David Price to the hill for Tuesday’s Game 5 and the Rangers will go with Cliff Lee.  It should be a wild one, especially if the Rays can fill their building.

Report: Rays, Yankees, Diamondbacks make three-team deal

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Update (6:35 PM ET): This is a three-team deal also involving the Diamondbacks, per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. The Diamondbacks will receive outfielder Steven Souza from the Rays and second baseman Brandon Drury will head to the Yankees. Lefty reliever Anthony Banda will go to the Rays, Piecoro adds.

Souza, 28, is earning $3.55 million in his first of three years of arbitration eligibility, so the Rays are presumably saving money in moving him. Last season, Souza hit a productive .239/.351/.459 with 30 home runs, 78 RBI, 78 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 617 plate appearances. Souza’s arrival almost certainly pushes Yasmany Tomas out of a starting gig.

Drury, 25, has played a handful of positions in his brief major league career. Last year, he played second base in Arizona, batting .267/.317/.447 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 480 PA.

Banda, 24, made his major league debut last season, posting an ugly 5.96 ERA with a 25/10 K/BB ratio in 25 2/3 innings. The peripherals suggest he pitched better than his ERA indicated.

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Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Rays will acquire second base prospect Nick Solak from the Yankees. The Yankees’ return is presently not known.

Solak, 23, was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2016 draft. He spent last season between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton, hitting a combined .297/.384/.452 with 12 home runs, 53 RBI, 72 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases.

MLB Pipeline ranked Solak as the eighth-best prospect in the Yankees’ system and the fifth-best second base prospect in baseball, praising him for his ability to hit line drives as well as his speed.