Rangers vs. Rays: Damon's Homer Paces 3-0 Tampa Bay Lead

Rays 3, Rangers 0

C.J. Wilson gave up only two home runs to left-handed hitters all season.

One of those was hit by Rays right fielder Matt Joyce.

Johnny Damon hit only six home runs against left-handed pitchers all season.

Despite all this, Joe Maddon slotted Damon fifth and Joyce ninth in the Rays' Game 1 lineup, and Damon made Maddon look like a genius in the top of the second inning, when he drove one of Wilson's fastballs just over the fence in right field. With Ben Zobrist having been hit by a Wilson fastball, Damon's blast gave Tampa Bay a 2-0 lead.

Damon's homer came on a 3-1 pitch, and Kelly Shoppach got ahead in the count before following with a line-drive single that Craig Gentry, making just his second start all season in left field, couldn't quite snag. After a ground-ball out that pushed Shoppach to second base, Desmond Jennings sent a fly ball to deep left that Gentry did corral.

Then Joyce grounded a single into right field, easily scoring Shoppach.

Wilson finally escaped the inning by retiring Sean Rodriguez. But after throwing only nine pitches in the first inning, he needed 33 in the second.

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