ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Kenny Rogers won his first game in over
a month, and he's still not happy.
Rogers pitched into the sixth inning to earn his 14th victory,
helping the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 5-3 Friday
night."I am frustrated because I gave up three runs," said Rogers,
who gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. "I felt
like this was the best stuff and location I've had in a couple of
months."Laynce Nix and Alfonso Soriano each homered for the Rangers, who
had lost six of their past seven games.Tino Martinez hit a solo homer off Rogers in the second -- his
18th of the season -- and B.J. Upton had three hits for the Devil
Rays, who have lost 13 of 14 road games.Former Ranger Rob Bell (5-6) allowed five runs and six hits over
4 2-3 innings. He pitched for Texas in 2001 and 2002."I didn't think Rob was trying to be too fine, he just got
hit," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.Nix, who was just 3-for-21 in his last seven games, hit a
two-run homer in the second inning off Rob Bell. Soriano added a
solo shot in the fifth.Rogers (14-5) was helped out by a stellar defensive play from
David Dellucci. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth
and the Rangers ahead 3-1, Dellucci made a leaping grab of Toby
Hall's liner in front of the warning track in left."A lot of guys would have tried to make that play look easy,"
Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "Dellucci would rather make the
catch than look aesthetically pleasing."Rogers was coming off one of his worst outings off the season.
He gave up eight runs in four innings Sunday against the Baltimore
Orioles.In his previous eight starts, he had 7.90 ERA.Carlos Almanzar, Ron Mahay and Francisco Cordero pitched 3 1-3
scoreless innings in relief of Rogers. Cordero got four outs for
his 34th save in 36 opportunities."Those guys (in the bullpen) have done a tremendous job,"
Rogers said. "But I want to go deeper in games to give those guys
some rest."After Martinez' solo shot gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead, Hank
Blalock singled to lead off the second. One out later, Nix hit his
12th homer to give Texas the lead for good.Dellucci had an RBI single in the fourth.Soriano gave Texas a 4-1 lead with a his 24th homer in the
fifth. Mark Teixeria added an RBI single to chase Bell. Trever
Miller relieved Bell.Rogers was lifted in the sixth after Hall's two-run single
brought the Devil Rays to 5-3. Almanzar ended Tampa Bay's rally
when Jorge Cantu flew out.The Devil Rays had a chance to rally late when they put runners
on first and third, but Aubrey Huff grounded out to end the game."Hall hit a ball to left that they made a great play on,"
Piniella said. "We had our chances."Tampa Bay center fielder Rocco Baldelli left in the second
inning with a strained right quadriceps. He bounced into a double
play to end the first inning.Piniella said it is likely Baldelli will go on the disabled
list.Carl Crawford, who started in left field, took over for Baldelli
in center field in the bottom of the second. Damian Rolls went in
to play left.
Tampa Bay released Robert Fick and optioned RHP Jeremi
Gonzalez to Triple-A Durham before Friday's game. The Devil Rays
called up Cantu and RHP Franklin Nunez. ... Soriano extended his
hitting streak to 10 games. ... Rogers had not won more than 13
games since 1998 when he won 16 with Oakland.