The Rays extended their lead to 3-0 lead on the strength of a two-run homer by Evan Longoria in the top of the third inning, but Rangers are beginning to chip away.
Craig Gentry led off the bottom of the third inning with a single and moved over to second base on a ground out from Leonys Martin. Ian Kinsler then followed with a bloop single to no man’s land in shallow right-center field to score Gentry and bring the score to 3-1. Check out the video below:
The Rangers had a chance to do some more damage, but David Price picked off Kinsler to end the inning while Alex Rios was at the plate. Price has already picked off two baserunners tonight. Giving away outs in an elimination game is not a recipe for success.
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.