Rays send fading Rangers to seventh straight loss

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Alex Cobb excelled on the hill while Wil Myers did the heavy lifting for the offense as the Rays topped the Rangers 6-2 tonight at Tropicana Field. The Rays are now one game ahead of the Rangers for the top AL Wild Card spot. Meanwhile, the fading Rangers have lost seven straight games.

Cobb allowed two runs over eight innings in the victory while striking out 10 batters. The game was a back-and-forth affair until the Rays got to Matt Garza for four runs in the fifth inning. Myers drove in three runs on the night, including a solo home run and a two-run double.

The Rangers now have their longest losing streak since 2007. Fortunately for them, the Indians lost to the Royals tonight, so they still have a half-game lead for the second Wild Card spot. The Orioles are two games back while the Yankees and Royals are both 2 1/2 games back.

The Angels were the first team to use up all of their mound visits

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Last night’s Angels-Astros game was a long affair with a bunch of homers and the use of 11 pitchers in all. The Angels used six pitchers and all of that business led to plenty of conferences. Six, in fact, which is their allotment under the new rule capping mound visits. As far as I can tell, that makes the Angels the first team to use up all of their mound visits since the advent of the rule.

Sadly, they did not try to go for a seventh, thereby testing the currently unknown limits of the rule. Umpires have been instructed to not allow additional mound visits, but they cannot issue balls or tackle anyone or anything to enforce it. Presumably, if Maldonado had walked out to talk to Cam Bedrosian about the weather or where he was going to dinner after the game, the home plate umpire would’ve simply done the old Robin Williams English policeman’s bit of yelling “Stop! . . . or I shall yell ‘Stop!’ again!” Maybe a fine would issue later, but we’ll never know.

At least until someone breaks the limit. And we know someone will, right? We should have a betting pool on who does it.