ARLINGTON -- The Rangers scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Rays in a battle of Wild Card contenders on Friday night.
Adrian Beltre started the rally with a one-out single off of Rays left-hander Jake McGee. Mitch Moreland then grounded a single up the middle and Beltre raced to third, just beating the throw from center fielder Kevin Kiermaier. Moreland hustled to second on the play.
"Tremendous effort and solid baserunning from those guys," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "That set that inning up for us."
Josh Hamilton, after falling behind 1-2 in the count, followed with a high fly to deep center that easily scored Beltre and moved Moreland to third. Elvis Andrus followed with a single that brought home Moreland.
"Tough loss, tight ballgame," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "We were unable to maybe make the big pitches when we needed to. Left some guys on base. I liked the way we swung the bats. Just seemed like we spread it around too much."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Kiermaier robs Fielder: With the Rays holding a one-run lead in the fifth, the Rangers had a runner on first with two outs. After left-hander Xavier Cedeno came on in relief, Prince Fielder launched a fly ball to deep center. Kiermaier raced to the wall, got his glove well over it and made a leaping catch, clearly robbing Fielder of a two-run home run. More >
DeShields' first dinger:Delino DeShields picked a great time to hit his first Major League home run. The Rangers trailed 3-2 into the seventh when DeShields hit a two-out shot off of reliever Steve Geltz. More >
"The situation was everything," DeShields said. "It played a big part in the game. We were struggling to get hits and score runs. To get that first one in that situation was something I'll never forget."
Longoria and RISP:Evan Longoria entered the game riding a .700 batting average with runners in scoring position (7-for-10) since July 31. And he came through once again in the third, when he doubled with two runners on, driving home both to give the Rays a 3-2 lead.
Hamilton goes deep: Hamilton was back in the lineup for the Rangers after missing two games and hit a home run in his first at-bat. He also drove in the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth. More >
"It's great to have him back in the lineup," Moreland said. "It makes us that much better."
"Ton of confidence in [Geltz]. He's been outstanding all year. He's going to give up some home runs sometimes, like we saw tonight. But for the most part, he's been extremely consistent. He's pitched a lot of big innings for us and he will continue to do so." -- Cash
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Asdrubal Cabrera went 3-for-4 and is now batting .500 (27-for-54) with 10 extra-base hits since his return from the disabled list on July 28. It was his seventh game with three hits this season.
UPON FURTHER REVIEW Brandon Guyer, with runners at first and second with no outs, hit into what was ruled a 5-3 double play in the third, but the Rays challenged the ruling that the runner was out at first. After a review, the call on the field was overturned as it was determined that Moreland had his foot off the bag.
Guyer was involved in a second review in the fifth inning, when he tried to turn a single into a double. Guyer, trying to beat the throw from right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, was initially ruled safe but the call was overturned upon review.
The Rangers benefited from a third overturned call in the seventh after Curt Casali led off with a double. Grady Sizemore followed with a grounder to Moreland, who stepped on first and then threw to third trying to get Casali. The original safe call was overturned after the Rangers appealed.
WHAT'S NEXT Rays:Chris Archer (10-8, 2.62 ERA) will make his 25th start of the season Saturday night (8:05 ET) against the Rangers. According to STATS LLC, opposing hitters have missed on 31 percent of swings against him, which ranks second in the American League to Chris Sale of the White Sox. He last faced the Rangers on May 7, going a season-low 3 1/3 innings and allowing five earned runs to take the loss.
Rangers: Right-hander Colby Lewis pitches against the Rays at 7:05 p.m. CT Saturday in Arlington. Lewis is 8-2 with a 4.55 ERA in his last 13 starts and he is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA in three starts against the Rays in the regular season since joining the Rangers in 2010.