Rays Vs: Rangers: Evan Longoria's Big Blast Leads Tampa Bay Over Texas

April 27, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria (3) gets congratulations from first baseman Carlos Pena (23) and left fielder Desmond Jennings (8) after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

The Rays jumped out to an 4-0 lead and never looked back as they defeated the Texas Rangers, 8-4 Friday night.

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.

Luke Scott made the score 8-3 with his fifth home run of the season in the top of the sixth. David Murphy provided the final margin with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning.

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.

For more on the Rays, visit DRaysBay. For the Rangers perspective, check out Lone Star Ball. For the latest news and notes from around the majors, visit Baseball Nation.

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