ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- After scoring 13 runs in two losses to
open the series against Tampa Bay, the frustrated Texas Rangers
matched that total to avoid a sweep.
Alfonso Soriano had three hits and a career-high five RBI as
the Rangers ended the Devil Rays' season-best six-game winning
streak with a 13-5 victory.
"It's so easy to get in that here-we-go-again mindset if you
let it," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "It's just good to
win a game and have the guys look at a cup half full instead of
Tampa Bay had taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the seventh on Toby
Hall's RBI double, and Devil Rays reliever Chad Orvella (1-2) got
the first two outs in the bottom of the inning.
But Nevin, who had three hits and fell a triple short of hitting
for the cycle, tied it with his first homer since being acquired
last week in a trade with the San Diego Padres.
"No matter how long you play, you want to make a good
impression and do something right away," said Nevin, who was
1-for-12 in his first three games with the Rangers. "I'm getting
more comfortable with the [DH] role. It's something I'm going to
have to get more accustomed to."
Soriano then reached first when Orvella was charged with an
error on a high throw to first after fielding a bunt. It was the
fifth time Soriano reached base safely.
Blalock followed with his 21st homer to put the Rangers in front
Michael Young, who had three hits, had a three-run homer in the
eighth to make it 10-5. Soriano added a two-run double and Blalock,
who had three hits, had an RBI single in the eighth.
All six runs in the eighth came off Dewon Brazelton, who walked
five in the inning.
"I'm not terribly concerned, but I'm certainly not pleased with
the way it went," said Brazelton, who faced 12 batters in the
eighth and threw 46 pitches -- only 17 for strikes.
Kevin Gryboski (1-0) allowed one run and two hits in 2/3 of an
inning for his first AL victory.
Orvella allowed three runs -- one earned -- and two hits in one
Texas ended a seven-game home losing streak, its longest at
Ameriquest Field. The club record for consecutive home defeats is
nine in 1990 when the Rangers played at Arlington Stadium.
"We did hit a tough stretch at home but that's something that's
very rare for us," Young said. "Regardless of wins and losses, we
feel comfortable playing here. It's good to finally win here and
get on a good stretch."
"Overall, we're happy. I'm not complaining," Devil Rays
manager Lou Piniella said as the team prepared for a flight to the
West Coast for a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels.
"You'll take two out of three anywhere you go. Now we've got to go
to California and try to get another win streak going."
The Devil Rays took a 4-1 lead into the sixth behind starter
But Texas used a three-run sixth to draw even on Soriano's
two-run triple and Blalock's RBI single, knocking out Fossum.
Fossum allowed four runs -- three earned -- and eight hits in 5
Texas starter Joaquin Benoit allowed four runs and nine hits
over 5 1/3 innings.
Huff led off the second with his 14th homer, hitting an 0-2
pitch into the upper deck in right. Tampa Bay made it 2-0 in the
third on Jorge Cantu's RBI single.
The Rangers cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fourth on Soriano's
The Devil Rays made it 3-1 in the fifth on Huff's RBI single,
and Crawford's run-scoring single in the sixth pushed the lead to
SS Julio Lugo was back in the Tampa Bay lineup after
missing two games with a sore left knee. Lugo has started 105 of
the Devil Rays' 109 games. ... Fossum twice used a blooper pitch to
keep the free-swinging Rangers off-balance. Fossum threw a strike to
Soriano in the second on a slo-pitch softball arc -- he calls it the
"Fossum Flip" -- that was clocked at 45 mph. Two pitches later,
Fossum hit Soriano with a fastball. Fossum started using the pitch
as a changeup last month. ... Fossum also tossed a "Flip" in the
fifth to Rod Barajas, who singled. ... Rangers RF Richard Hidalgo
was removed from the game after the seventh because of a sore