The Tampa Bay Rays jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and never looked back as they took the first game of the weekend series between the teams with the best record in the American League, defeating the Texas Rangers, 8-4.
Evan Longoria set the tone for the opener with his three-run home run off of Matt Harrison in the top of the first inning. The visitors added another run on B.J. Upton's RBI single to stake James Shields to a 4-0 lead.
Shields pitched six innings, allowing four earned runs on 11 hits, while striking out eight. The biggest blow for Texas came in the fifth inning, when Josh Hamilton's two-run home run cut the Rays lead to 7-3. Before that, RBIs for Chris Gimenez, Longoria, and Ben Zobrist had pushed the margin to 7-1.
The Rangers came close to tying the game when they loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning, but Elvis Andrus' bid at a game-tying grand slam fell just short of the fence.