Rangers starter Colby Lewis held the Rays to just one run on one hit, a home run by Rays rookie outfielder Desmond Jennings, in six innings on Monday, to help the Rangers beat the Rays 4-3, and grab a 2-1 lead in the ALDS series. Lewis struck out 6 and walked 2 to win his third playoff game in four postseason starts.
The Rangers scored all 4 of their runs in the 7th inning, two on a home run from catcher/DH Mike Napoli. Napoli, who hit 30 home runs during the regular season, went 2-3 with a walk and 2 RBI. Napoli was traded twice during last offseason, once to Toronto in the trade that resulted in the ultimate firing of Angels GM Tony Reagins, and then to the Rangers for reliever Frank Francisco. Napoli's teammate Josh Hamilton singled in 2 runs in the four run 7th inning to stretch the Rangers lead to 4-1.
The Rangers had to overcome two homers from Rays outfield prospect Desmond Jennings, who is fast becoming one of the top fantasy outfielders for 2012. I wrote about Jennings in September stating he could be a Top 20 fantasy outfielder in 2012. Jennings ended the season hitting .259-.356-.449 with 10 HRs, 25 RBI, 44 runs, 20 SBs in 26 attempts and a solid 59-31 K/BB rate in just 247 at bats.
The Rays will hang their hopes on rookie starter Jeremy Hellickson to even to the series on Tuesday night. Hellickson was 6-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 14 home starts this season. He owned a 65-25 K/BB rate in 99.1 innings at home this season.