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Home News-Telegram Sports Pro Sports Longoria has 4 RBIs; Rangers swept

Longoria has 4 RBIs; Rangers swept

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — This was one nice series for Evan Longoria and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Longoria hit a solo homer and drove in four runs to help the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 8-6 on Wednesday, completing a sweep of the three-game set between potential playoff opponents.

"We did it against a real good ballclub," Longoria said. "I think everybody at this point understands that these games are really starting to become big."

Longoria also had a pair of RBI doubles and a sacrifice fly. The All-Star third baseman had three RBIs in Tampa Bay's 10-1 victory Tuesday night.

"He had a great series," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We couldn't stop him from the first game on."

Longoria had seven hits — including five for extra bases — in 12 at-bats with eight RBIs during the sweep. He entered the game hitting .234 over his previous 25 games.

James Shields (11-11) allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings, stopping a personal two-game slide. He had given up 12 runs over nine innings in his previous two outings.

"We're playing really well right now," Shields said. "We've got a lot of confidence at home. I think we've got that home-field advantage back."

The Rays have won 19 of their last 24 games at Tropicana Field.

Tampa Bay, which began the day tied with the New York Yankees for the AL East lead, has won five straight overall.

"Absolutely it's a confidence builder," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

Taylor Teagarden and Mitch Moreland homered for the AL West-leading Rangers, who are 7-10 since July 30. AL batting leader Josh Hamilton had a run-scoring grounder in the eighth but went 0 for 4 for the day and 1 for 10 in the series.

"You just move on," Washington said. "We'll be better equipped the next time we see them. Stay tuned."

Moreland belted a two-run shot off Lance Cormier in the ninth but Rafael Soriano came in and got the final two outs for his 35th save.

Longoria hit an RBI double off Derek Holland (2-2) in the first and a solo drive in the fourth for his first homer in 20 games, making it 2-0.




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