Rangers lower flags at Ballpark in Shannon Stone’s memory

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The Rangers will play their scheduled game Friday against the Athletics, but only after lowering the flags at Rangers Ballpark and observing a moment of silence in memory of Shannon Stone, the firefighter who died after falling over a railing during Thursday night’s game.

Rangers president Nolan Ryan is expected to discuss the matter at a news conference this afternoon.

Some have suggested the Rangers postpone tonight’s game, but it’s hard to see how that would do Stone’s family any good.  It would just inconvenience and disappoint the 35,000-40,000 fans set to attend the contest.

There hasn’t been any word yet on whether Josh Hamilton will play tonight.

Masahiro Tanaka throws two-hit shutout vs. Rays

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went the distance, holding the Rays scoreless on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts across nine innings on Monday night in the Bronx. It’s the fourth shutout of his career, accounting for four of the Yankees’ last six shutouts. The other two were thrown my Luis Severino and Brandon McCarthy.

DJ LeMahieu provided the bulk of the offense, swatting a two-run home run off of Yonny Chirinos in the third inning. Cameron Maybin tacked on a solo homer off of Chirinos in the fifth as the Yankees went on to win 3-0.

After Monday’s performance, Tanaka owns a 3.23 ERA with 84 strikeouts and 20 walks across 92 innings on the season.

With the win, the Yankees increase their lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East to 1.5 games.