October 4, 2011 in Sports

Rangers like life on road

Rays victims once again as Texas takes 2-1 lead
Fred Goodall Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Mike Napoli (25) celebrates two- run homer with Esteban German.
(Full-size photo)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Back on the road in the playoffs, the Texas Rangers won again.

Colby Lewis outpitched All-Star David Price, Mike Napoli hit a go-ahead two-run homer and the defending A.L. champions survived a shaky night from the bullpen to hold off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 Monday in Game 3 of their postseason series.

The Rangers’ fourth straight division series road win matches the third-longest streak in major league history and gives Texas a 2-1 lead heading into Game 4 today. Texas won three ALDS games here a year ago, when it eliminated Tampa Bay in five games.

Playing in front of the first home sellout since opening day, Desmond Jennings hit a pair of solo homers for the Rays. Tampa Bay kept it interesting by scoring twice off Rangers relievers before Neftali Feliz got four outs for his second save of the series.

“It was three of the toughest innings that we experienced all year,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of the late-game drama.

Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre, playing deep and guarding the line to prevent a double in the ninth, started an around-the-horn double play on Kelly Shoppach’s grounder to end it.

Price was the losing pitcher in two of Tampa Bay’s playoff losses in 2010 and welcomed the opportunity against the only A.L. team he hasn’t beaten.

The left-hander took a 1-0 lead into the seventh, thanks to Jennings’ fourth-inning homer.

Beltre singled leading off the seventh against Price and took second a wild pitch. A crowd of 32,828 fell silent when Napoli lifted a 2-2 pitch into the seats in left-center for a 2-1 advantage.

As good as Price was early, Lewis was better in limiting the Rays to one hit over six innings. Jennings’ first homer was the only hit off Lewis, who had 16 consecutive scoreless innings against the Rays to that point.

• Box score, B4

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