ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- Kenny Rogers hasn't won since his 13-game suspension.
Rogers lost his third straight start since serving the penalty and Jonny Gomes homered and drove in two runs as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 on Sunday to complete a three-game sweep."They hit a lot of balls that snuck through," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.Rogers (11-7) gave up six runs and seven hits in six innings. He has allowed 17 runs and 20 hits in 18 innings over his past three outings since returning from his penalty, assessed by baseball commissioner Bud Selig after Rogers shoved two cameramen.Rogers declined to comment when asked about his latest defeat. The six earned runs Rogers allowed matched his season high.Gomes homered in the third inning and had an RBI single in the fifth that broke a 3-all tie. Damon Hollins followed with a two-run double."He's got a lot of inner confidence and he plays like has it," Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said of Gomes. "It rubs off on people. We were looking for power in our outfield, and he's provided that and more."Texas went 1-12 on a season-high 13-game trip, the most losses on a road trip in franchise history. Gary Matthews Jr. and Rod Barajas homered for the Rangers, who lead the majors with 203 homers."It's been a long road trip, and it hasn't been fruitful for us," Showalter said.Gomes, who had three hits, gave Tampa Bay a 3-1 lead in the third with his solo homer.Danys Baez, the fourth Devil Rays reliever, pitched the ninth for his 29th save. Tampa Bay has won five straight and is 23-12 since the All-Star break."It's not really a fluke anymore," Gomes said. "This club is good, and we're going to challenge everyone. We're on a tear right now."Texas loaded the bases with two outs in the second but failed to score when Casey Fossum (7-10) struck out Mark DeRosa on three pitches.Fossum went five innings, allowing three runs and seven hits. The left-hander has been slowed by a bad back."More preventative than anything else," Piniella said of pulling Fossum after the fifth. "We wanted to cut his pitch count down. Last time he threw a quite few pitches."The Devil Rays took advantage of a bases-loaded, one-out opportunity by scoring twice for a 2-0 lead in the second. Nick Green hit a sacrifice fly, and Julio Lugo had an RBI single."The last two, three week we've going out, taking it to teams and putting pressure on them," Hollins said.Matthews made it 2-1 in the third with his second homer in two days and ninth over his last 25 games.Texas tied it at 3 in the fourth when Barajas homered and Michael Young hit a run-scoring double. Young stopped an 0-for-10 stretch with his hit."We have a day off tomorrow and will think about the baseball we've played the last two weeks," Rangers second baseman Alfonso Soriano said. "After that, we'll get back to baseball."
There was a smattering of boos when Rogers' name was announced during pregame lineup introductions. ... Gomes has reached base 14 times in his last 25 plate appearances. ... Texas catcher Sandy Alomar Jr. was hit near the knee by a pitch in the second and left one inning later. X-rays were negative. ... Hollins singled in the second to snap an 0-for-15 slide. ... Texas third baseman Hank Blalock
went 0-for-4 and has six hits in his last 41 at-bats. He has not driven in a run in 10 consecutive games. ... Young went 2-for-5 for his major league-best 50th multihit game.