Niemann has another tough start in Rays' loss
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Jeff Niemann had another tough start and the Tampa Bay offense did little against Texas ace C.J. Wilson in a one-sided game.
Wilson threw a five-hitter, David Murphy drove in four runs and the AL West-leading Rangers beat the Rays 8-0 on Tuesday night.
Niemann (9-7) gave up seven runs and nine hits in 4 2-3 innings. He has lost three of his last four starts.
"It's really frustrating," Niemann said. "Just have to deal with it and keep pushing on."
Wilson is 3-0 in four career starts against Tampa Bay. He also threw 6 1-3 innings in Texas' 6-0 win over the Rays in Game 2 of the 2010 AL division series.
"He does not miss against us," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon. "He's just on the top of his game whenever he sees us in the batter's box."
Wilson (15-6) matched his career high in wins from last year and became the first Texas left-hander to record 15 or more wins in consecutive seasons. He has three complete games this year.
Murphy and Ian Kinsler homered for the Rangers, who are 3-2 on a six-game trip to Boston and Tampa Bay. Adrian Beltre extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a third-inning single.
"I was falling behind a lot of those guys ... Putting myself in pretty counts early on," Niemann said. "I just wasn't able to find that good, solid release point.
Kinsler tied his own team record, set in 2009, with his seventh leadoff homer this season in the first. He has 26 homers this year, including five in his last six games.
Murphy started the second with his ninth homer, then hit a two-run double during Texas' three-run third that made it 5-0. Josh Hamilton also had an RBI double in the third.
Hamilton, selected first overall in the 1999 amateur draft by the Rays, tweaked his back during the game, but still played eight innings.
"No worries," Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Murphy finished with four hits and came within a triple of hitting for the cycle.
Beltre hit a sacrifice fly and Murphy had a run-scoring double to make it 7-0 in the fifth. Mike Napoli added a run-scoring double in the eighth.
"That's one of the better lineups you're going to face," Niemann said.
Wilson was working on a perfect game in last Thursday's 7-2 win over the Rays when Casey Kotchman's infield hit went off the pitcher's left index finger in the sixth. Wilson departed after the inning.
Kotchman got Tampa Bay's first hit Tuesday when he flared an opposite-field single to left with one out in the second. Wilson induced an inning-ending double play from Kotchman with two on in the fourth.
"We didn't hit enough balls hard enough to really put a dent in what he was doing out there," Maddon said.
Tampa Bay has been shutout 14 times this season. It was Wilson's first career shutout.
NOTES: Rays C Jose Labaton departed with left knee soreness and is not expected to play Wednesday. ... Tampa Bay DH Johnny Damon (sore right leg) was out of the lineup for the second straigh game. ... Rays 3B Evan Longoria was the designated hitter for the third time this season and went 1 for 4, including two strikeouts and a double-play grounder. He is 4 for 25 in seven overall games at DH. ... Tampa Bay LHP David Price (12-12) and Texas LHP Derek Holland (13-5) are the scheduled starters Wednesday.