Rays beat Rangers, keep pace in AL wild-card race

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Tampa Bay Rays' Taylor Walls reacts in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Scott Audette)

By MARK DIDTLER

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Taylor Walls homered, six Tampa Bay pitchers combined on a six-hitter and the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 5-1.

Tampa Bay remained 1 1/2 games behind Toronto for the top AL wild card.

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The Rays hold a 5 1/2-game advantage over Baltimore, which is fourth in the race for the three wild cards. Jonah Heim homered and Jon Gray allowed two runs and two hits over 4 1/3 innings in his second start since returning from a left oblique strain for Texas. The Rangers fell to 63-82 and were assured their sixth consecutive losing season. It extends the longest streak since the team moved to Texas from Washington in 1972.