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ALDS Game 2: Rays at Rangers

Oct 1, 2011, 10:30 PM EDT

US Presswire photo
Kelly Shoppach was the surprise offensive hero of Game 1 for the Rays.

They dominated Game 1 yesterday behind Matt Moore's seven shutout innings and Kelly Shoppach's surprising power. Now, the Rays look to take complete control of their division series against the Rangers in Game 2 tonight.

Tampa Bay has to like its chances with James Shields on the hill. The veteran right-hander beat Texas twice this season, allowing one total run over 17 innings. He also tossed a major-league-leading 11 complete games this year, giving manager Joe Maddon comfort when it comes time to using his bullpen.

In order to knot the series back up at one game apiece, the Rangers need a big performance from lefty Derek Holland, who finished the season on a prolonged hot streak. The 24-year-old went 10-1 with a 2.77 ERA over his final 15 starts, which should give manager Ron Washington some peace of mind heading into this crucial ballgame…

AL DIVISION SERIES – GAME 2
TAMPA BAY RAYS at TEXAS RANGERS
Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Gametime: 7:07 p.m.
TV: TNT
Radio: XM 181
Weather: Sunny, 82 degrees, Wind 5 mph LF to RF

STARTING LINEUPS
RAYS
LF Desmond Jennings
CF B.J. Upton
3B Evan Longoria
2B Ben Zobrist

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  1. FS - daydreaming again - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    I can not wait to cheer for Nats in October next season.But today, Go tampa Go!!!

  2. Anonymous - Oct 1, 2011 at 11:33 PM

    And two of the organization's top picks from this summer's draft (third baseman Anthony Rendon and left-hander Matt Purke) are expected to play alongside them as well.This will be a good test of Harper's progress, since the soon-to-be 19-year-old will be competing against the best Class AA and AAA talent out there. Most AFL prospects are on the verge of reaching the big leagues. If Harper performs well on a daily basis out there, it could signal how close he is to arriving in Washington. If he struggles, perhaps it's a sign he still needs more seasoning at Class AA.The world does not revolve around Harper. What happens if Rendon looks almost ready? Matt Purke? Don't you think THOSE would be determining factors in Rizzo/Johnson's offseason decision making?

  3. baseballswami - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    Just seems like Harper/Strasburg are the go-to names when discussing the future of the nats. We have so much more than that now, which is very cool. Next October – the Nats – expect it.

  4. natsfan1a - Oct 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    Dang, I had a really nice post worked up there and then hit the wrong key too soon. Oh well. Will try to capture lightning in a bottle again here… :-)Shields must have felt like he was living in a nightmare in the fourth inning last night. Plunks the hitter and then it's "don't let me plunk this guy, too – d'oh!" He gave his catcher some look when the ball skipped away and another run scored later in the inning. Then it's like we have "fin-ally three outs – d'oh!" I wonder whether Texas is in his head after his previous postseason start there. Oh well. Now that the one-time cycle of neither team winning their home postseason game against the other is broken, will be rooting for the Rays to take two at home this week. Go, RAYS!! (Also can't wait to say "Go, Nats!!" well into October, FS.)

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ATLANTA 66 60 6.0
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THU: Diamondbacks at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
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