Tampa Bay certainly gave its faithful, and fans everywhere, quite a ride in the final month. Manager Joe Maddon's team overcame a nine-game deficit against Boston in the wild-card standings, then rallied from seven runs to beat the Yankees on the last day of the regular season to reach the playoffs for the third time in four years despite a small payroll.
"It's sour the way it ended. You feel like you have done more. We really, really have nothing to hang our heads about," said Evan Longoria, whose 12th-inning homer beat the Yankees and put the Rays in the postseason.
"We had our opportunities. Our bullpen and starting pitchers gave us a chance," he added. "It came down to offensively not getting it done."
Harrison, who made a relief appearance in the Rangers' loss in the series opener, pitched five innings and won in his first postseason start. The Texas bullpen took over after that.
Texas' five consecutive division series road wins matches the second-longest streak in big league history. The Atlanta Braves won a record eight straight from 1995-99 and the Yankees won five in a row from 2003-05.
Moore stymied the powerful Texas lineup by working seven scoreless inning in the opener at Arlington. The Rays brought him on again in hopes of holding the Rangers to a 3-2 lead, and it looked like the move might work. The 22-year-old lefty retired the first six batters he faced before Beltre led off the seventh with an opposite-field shot into the stands in right.
"It's always painful, especially being around the league for this long," said Rays designated hitter Johnny Damon, finishing his 17th season. "We had a good enough team to win, and keep on winning. It just seemed Texas definitely had our number."
NOTES: Before Tuesday, the Rays had sold out every previous postseason game ever played at Tropicana Field — eight in 2008, three in 2010 and Game 3 on Monday night... With Hellickson taking the ball, it marked only the 10th time since 1900 that a team used two rookie starters in the postseason. The 2007 Colorado Rockies had been the most recent club do it, using Ubaldo Jimenez and Franklin Morales. ... Hellickson, who yielded as many as two homers in a game just twice in 29 starts this season, allowed three runs and four hits in four innings.
HBT: Controversial umpire Angel Hernandez blew another call that nearly cost the White Sox a win on Friday, earning the ire of manager Robin Ventura.
Add another near miss in this 2013 baseball season - this time it was Detroit's Anibal Sanchez falling just short of a no-hitter.
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