Fans were chanting Napoli’s name again in the fifth when he threw out B.J. Upton trying to steal third base.
Derek Holland, the Rangers‘ left-hander who had gone 10-1 over his last 15 starts in the regular season, overcame a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and a two-out, two-run homer in the fourth after his throwing error extended the inning.
Shields allowed seven runs in five-plus innings. The big right-hander had thrown eight scoreless innings at Texas on Aug. 31, then allowed only one run in a complete game victory against the Rangers five days later at Tropicana Field. He had hit only five batters and thrown four wild pitches over 249 1-3 innings in his 33 regular-season starts before that horrible inning in the playoffs.
Tampa Bay had a 1-0 lead after Kelly Shoppach drew a bases-loaded walk with two outs in the first. Shoppach, a .176 hitter in the regular season who homered twice and drove in five runs in the series opener, walked after 38-year-old Johnny Damon reached on an infield single.
That lone run looked liked it might be plenty for Shields the way he was throwing early. He had three consecutive strikeouts against Beltre, Napoli and Cruz when all the sluggers swung at pitches that darted down close to the plate — for the last two outs of the second, and to start the third.
Before Shields‘ meltdown in the bottom of the fourth, the Rays went up 3-0 in the top half. Casey Kotchman reached on Holland’s two-out throwing error before Matt Joyce pulled a homer into the facade of the second deck of seats in right field.
Tampa didn’t score again until Rangers reliever Koji Uehara failed to retire any of the three batters he faced to start the seventh.
Desmond Jennings had a leadoff walk, Upton followed with a single and Evan Longoria hit a 415-foot homer to left-center to make it 7-6.
Darren Oliver came on to get three quick outs and get out of the seventh before Mike Adams and closer Neftali Feliz both had scoreless innings to finish off the Rays.
The bases were loaded after Damon’s second infield hit, beating the throw by a step on his two-out grounder up the middle that Holland swiped at before shortstop Andrus made a diving stop. Upton had doubled before Longoria walked.