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Sports Rangers stifled by Rays' Odorizzi, end 4-game win streak

Rangers stifled by Rays’ Odorizzi, end 4-game win streak

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — The Texas Rangers ran into one of the America League’s hottest pitchers Saturday night and their winning streak came to an end.

Evan Longoria and Luke Maile homered, Odorizzi won his fifth game since the All-Star break and the Tampa Bay Rays ended the Rangers’ four-game winning streak with an 8-2 victory.

Odorizzi (8-5) is 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA in seven starts since the break. The right-hander allowed six hits and struck out four over six innings.

“We had the guys we wanted at the plate, but he made the pitches when he needed to,” Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said. “Look at his numbers. That’s why his numbers are what they are.”

Rougned Odor hit his 23rd homer in the fourth for the only run against Odorizzi. Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus had two hits each for the Rangers, who entered the day with a seven-game lead in the AL West.

With Tampa Bay up 2-1 in the sixth, Texas’ Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-out double that appeared to score Adrian Beltre until a replay review showed second baseman Tim Beckham’s throw was in time to get Beltre and end the inning.

“They made a good relay throw to the plate,” Lucroy said. “Good defense, I guess.”

The Rangers didn’t score again until the ninth inning when they were seven runs down.

“An extremely close play at the plate,” Bannister said. “I believe that changes the complexion of the game. … Beckham made a great throw that got Beltre at the plate, made it as close as possible. It was ruled safe and then got overturned. But if that ball goes off line or if Beckham hesitates at all, he’s safe.”

The Rays scored in each of the first two innings off starter A.J. Griffin (5-3). Longoria drove in a run with a two-out single in the first, and Maile made it 2-0 with his first career home run in the second. Longoria’s 28th homer made it 3-1 in the sixth.

Brad Miller had a three-run double in the seventh for Tampa Bay off reliever Keone Kela.

Nomar Mazara hit his 14th home run for the Rangers in the ninth.

Griffin pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three runs and seven hits while striking out four.

BELTRE GRIEVING

Beltre’s two-homer, four-hit game Friday night occurred after he was informed of his grandfather’s death on Thursday, the Rangers said. Beltre has yet to inform the team of any plans to take a bereavement leave.

“To be able to do what he did last night is in itself incredible without any external distractions,” Bannister said. “To be going through that, I’m sure, was extremely tough for him.”

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: LHP Derek Holland, who last pitched for the Rangers on June 20, threw another bullpen session Saturday. Bannister is “leaning towards having him make his start (Tuesday) in Cincinnati.”

UP NEXT

LHP Martin Perez (8-8) will start Sunday’s series finale for the Rangers, making make his 26th start, which will tie for the AL lead. Rays LHP Drew Smyly is 5-11 with a 4.85 ERA but gave up only one hit in Monday’s 8-2 win over San Diego.

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