The Tampa Bay Rays’ offense came to life Monday night at Tropicana Field. All it took was the white-hot glare of the American League wild-card race and their rookie right fielder who is digging his first playoff stretch.

The Rays recorded their most hits at home since the other side of the All-Star break and batted around for the first time in nearly a month. They even had hits with runners in scoring position - four of them in one inning.

Throw in a strong outing from Alex Cobb and the Rays came away with a 6-2 victory against the Texas Rangers in front of 10724 at Tropicana Field.

The teams began the night tied atop the AL wild-card standings. The Rays now lead the Rangers losers of seven straight and 10 of their last 11 games by a game after taking the first of this this four-game series.

The Rays also lead the Cleveland Indians by 1 1/2 games thanks to former Ray James Shields who pitched the Kansas City Royals past Cleveland on Monday.

“This is big” rookie right fielder Wil Myers said after driving in three runs with another home run and a two-run fifth inning double that broke the game open.

Myers hit capped a four-run inning that saw the Rays get four hits with runners in scoring position. Ben Zobrist James Loney and Evan Longoria had the first three.

“I think that’s big just for the whole team to be able to come out and do that” Myers said. “I think that shows signs of us kind of turning it around.”

And about these big September games?

“It’s a lot of fun just to be here with a good team a team that’s in it right now” Myers said. “Everybody’s keeping it loose right now.”

Rays manager Joe Maddon downplayed the significance of the victory something he does frequently. His reasoning is if Monday’s win was a “big win” than Sunday’s loss was a “big loss” and he will not acknowledge that Sunday’s defeat in Minnesota was a big loss.

But his starting pitcher thought there was some significance to Monday’s win.

“At this point of the season with the position we’re in every game’s going to get bigger and bigger” Cobb said. “Yesterday was the biggest game of the season. Today’s the biggest game of the season. Tomorrow will be the biggest game of the season. I don’t think it’s unfair to say that.

“We realize the position we’re in and we realize the performance we have to put together out there every night. I think we’re up for it so it was nice to get the win no matter how we got it. It was just nice to get it.”

Cobb was certainly up for it. Matched against Matt Garza the MVP of the 2008 American League Championship Series and the only Rays pitcher to throw a no-hitter Cobb turned in one of his best performances of the season.

He held the Rangers to a pair of runs on six hits and struck out 10.