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D-Rays Shut Out Rangers 3-0

Jackson pitched a four-hitter to send the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to a 3-0 victory over the Rangers in 96-degree heat Saturday night.

"When he gets deep into the game, he starts throwing the ball aggressively," Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "He still had 99 (mph) in the tank. I like it when guys smell it like that."

Jackson (3-11) struck out eight, walked one and allowed only one runner past second base in Tampa Bay's first shutout of the season. Delmon Young doubled twice and scored for the Devil Rays, who had been the only major league team without a shutout this year.

Rangers manager Ron Washington was impressed with Jackson's stamina.

"As hot as it was, he was throwing 99 in the ninth," Washington said. "He just overpowered us. He was on tonight. You look at his record and it didn't look like he could throw that kind of game, but tonight he showed us what he had."

Jackson, who started the night with a 6.35 ERA, retired his first 10 batters before Brad Wilkerson doubled. The right-hander threw 79 of his 110 pitches for strikes.

He issued his first walk of the night to Wilkerson with one out in the ninth, then ended the game by getting Michael Young to ground into a double play.

"I see confidence more than anything," Maddon said. "I believe that's the kind of performance that will elevate him even more."

The rebuilding Rangers had three rookies in their lineup, and Texas' free-swingers were unable to catch up with Jackson's fastball.

"He was tough," Michael Young said. "He was getting ahead of everybody. He had everything going for him. He was throwing hard and kept his pitch count low."

The Rangers have been shut out five times since July 7.

Once a highly rated prospect for the Los Angeles Dodgers, the 23-year-old Jackson still has plenty of upside as he tries to earn a rotation spot for next season with the struggling Devil Rays.

"I established a comfort level," Jackson said. "I had it in my mind to finish strong."

David Murphy's double in the sixth, Michael Young's single in the seventh and Gerald Laird's single in the eighth were the only other hits for the Rangers. The game took only 2 hours, 14 minutes.

Carl Crawford tripled and had two hits for the Devil Rays, extending his hitting streak to 12 games -- one short of his career high.

Tampa Bay took a 2-0 lead off John Rheinecker (1-1) on RBI doubles by Delmon Young in the first inning and Greg Norton in the second.

After Norton's double, Rheinecker retired his next 13 batters until Young's bloop double with two outs in the sixth. Brendan Harris followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0.

Rheinecker allowed 13 runs over 9 1-3 innings in his previous two starts, but he gave up only three runs and six hits in six innings against the Devil Rays. He struck out six and walked one.

Washington said Rheinecker will move to the bullpen next week. He was in the rotation due to injuries to Vicente Padilla and Kameron Loe, and both are expected to come off the disabled list next week.

Game notes
Crawford is 22-for-39 (.564) in his last eight games. ... Texas was shut out for the seventh time this season. ... Murphy made his first start for the Rangers, who acquired him from Boston on July 31. Murphy's double was his first hit for Texas. ... The meeting of last-place teams was also a matchup of the pitching staffs with the highest ERAs in the majors.


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