ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The breaks are starting to go the Texas Rangers’ way.
Texas turned three Tampa Bay miscues into a three-run sixth inning and the Rangers beat the Rays 4-3 on Saturday night.
The Rangers took a 4-3 lead during the decisive sixth when two runs scored after center fielder Mallex Smith misplayed Adrian Beltre’s two-out deep fly ball, and Beltre scored on two wild pitches by Chris Archer with Mike Napoli at the plate.
“It’s one of those situations that just kind of goes our way,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “We haven’t had a lot of those. We were able to take advantage of it.”
Smith said it was a ball that should have been caught.
“I just shanked it,” Smith said. “Just a bad play. That’s about it. I was right there up under it. I just missed it.”
Elvis Andrus, who entered the series hitless in 16 at-bats, homered in his second consecutive three-hit game for the Rangers, who have won two straight following a five-game skid.
Andrew Cashner (5-8) gave up three runs and four hits over six innings. Alex Claudio, the third Rangers reliever, got four outs for his fourth save.
Claudio went two scoreless innings in Texas’ 4-3, 10-inning win over the Rays on Friday night to get his second win.
“He’s been our workhorse right there in the bullpen,” Andrus said.
Archer (7-6) allowed four runs, four hits and struck out 11 to set a team record with his 24th career game with double-digit strikeouts. David Price had 23 double-digit strikeout games with the Rays.
Steven Souza Jr. had an RBI single and Evan Longoria hit a two-run single as the Rays went up 3-0 in the third.
Archer retired his first 10 batters before Andrus homered in the fourth. Andrus had a homer and two RBIs Friday night.
Rangers: RHP A.J. Griffin (left intercostal strain) will make his third rehab start Monday with Double-A Frisco.
Rays: Reliever Jonny Venters, trying to comeback after multiple elbow surgeries, has eight scoreless innings between Class-A Charlotte and the Gulf Coast League Rays.
Texas general manager Jon Daniels says the priority remains to win this year but that the team will also “be pragmatic and really consider our options” heading into the non-waiver trade deadline at the end of the month. The Rangers have three starting pitchers, including Yu Darvish, who could be free agents after the season.
Beltre moved within 13 hits of becoming the 31st player to have 3,000 with an infield single in the fourth.
LIKES THE PARK
Andrus is hitting .331 (79 for 239) with six homers and 35 RBIs at Tropicana Field.
The Rays acquired reliever Sergio Romo from the Los Angeles Dodgers for cash considerations. The three-time World Series champion with San Francisco had been designated for assignment Thursday. “I’m excited,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s a guy who’s got big-game experience and pitched in a lot of high leverage situations.”
Rangers RHP Tyson Ross (2-2, 7.22 ERA) will make his seventh start since returning after surgery to relieve Thoracic Outlet Syndrome in Sunday’s series finale.
Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (6-4) looks to go 5-0 against the Rangers Sunday. He will also try to stop a stretch of allowing a homer in 14 straight games. Since Baseball Reference data is first available in 1913, only seven pitchers have had a streak that long.