ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each and the Texas Rangers snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night.
The Rangers pulled even with the Rays at the top of the AL wild-card race.
The Rangers, who held the No. 1 wild-card spot or the AL West lead for most of the summer, won for only the fourth time in 17 games.
Kinsler hit Jeremy Hellickson’s first pitch for his 12th home run, breaking a streak of seven homerless games for the Rangers, their longest in 23 years. The 1-0 lead marked the first time Texas has led in a game since its last victory, on Sept. 8.
Kinsler added a two-run single in the Rangers’ four-run third, driving in three runs on the first two pitches he saw from Hellickson (11-9). Andrus followed with his third home run of the season to put the Rangers up 5-0.
Alexi Ogando (7-4) won in his first start since Aug. 13, giving up two hits in five innings. He had made four relief appearances after spending three weeks on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Ogando retired the first seven Rays he faced, the last four with strikeouts, before Jose Lobaton homered in the third inning.
Leonys Martin doubled twice and added a ninth-inning home run, his eighth of the season. Mitch Moreland had two doubles for the Rangers, who have won 16 of their last 24 road games.
Rookie Wil Myers had two of Tampa Bay’s four hits.
Hellickson, who is 1-6 in his last nine starts, gave up five earned runs in 2 2-3 innings.
NOTES: Kinsler has led off 29 games with a home run, two this season. … Rangers OF Nelson Cruz, who is suspended for the rest of the regular season, began workouts at the team’s training facility in Arizona. … The Rays promoted 32-year-old outfielder Freddy Guzman and added him to the active roster. Guzman has played in 47 major league games, most recently in 2009 with the New York Yankees. … . RHP Jesse Crain, who has been on the DL with a right shoulder strain since the Rays acquired him from the Chicago White Sox on July 29, could be activated as early as Wednesday. … The Rays announced a renewal of their relationship with Montgomery, their Double-A affiliate. They will play an exhibition game on March 29 at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium.