ARLINGTON, Texas -- Frank Catalanotto is making up for lost time after a terrible start to the season. On Friday night, he made the Devil Rays pay.
Catalanotto hit the go-ahead homer and had a career-high five RBI to lead the Rangers to a 7-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
With the Rangers trailing 3-2 in the fifth, Catalanotto's three-run blast put Texas ahead for good.
Catalanotto, who went 3-for-4 and is 11-for-24 (.458) with nine RBI in his last seven games, added a two-run single in the sixth to pad the lead to 7-4.
"I knew it was going to come eventually," Catalanotto said. "I'm feeling better here in the second half. Hopefully I can keep it going."
Catalanotto, who opened the season as a career .297 hitter, was hitting .194 through his first 44 games this year. Since then, he's raised his average to a more acceptable .252.
"He's a professional hitter," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "It took him a while to get going. It's nice to see him swinging the bat well."
Catalanotto has been getting more regular at-bats recently, and that has helped fuel his hot streak.
"The more you're in there, the more you're comfortable and confident," Catalanotto said.
Mike Wood (2-1) allowed one run and two hits in 2 1/3 innings to earn the decision. C.J. Wilson got four outs for his fourth save in five chances to stretch his scoreless streak to 14 innings and his hitless streak to 11 innings.
The Devil Rays were denied their first three-game road winning streak of the season. The Rangers won for the second time in their last seven games.
Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 11 games and is 20-for-33 (.606) in his last seven games. Dioner Navarro had his second straight three-hit game for the Devil Rays.
Michael Young's two-run double in the third inning off starter Andy Sonnanstine (1-8) gave the Rangers a 2-0 advantage.
Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy shut out the Devil Rays on three hits in the first four innings, but he faltered in the fifth as Tampa Bay took a 3-2 lead.
McCarthy walked Carlos Pena with the bases loaded, Delmon Young followed with a sacrifice fly, and Brendan Harris added an RBI single to knock out McCarthy.
A fielding error by Rangers first baseman Jarrod Saltalamacchia that allowed Ben Zobrist to reach first leading off the fifth opened the door for the Devil Rays, leading to three unearned runs.
But Saltalamacchia atoned for his mistake with a double leading off the fifth, Ramon Vazquez bunted for a single, and Catalanotto followed with his eighth homer to put Texas in front 5-3.
"After we scored those two runs, we gave it right back," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. "It's something we've got to stop doing."
Sonnanstine gave up five runs and seven hits in 4 1/3 innings as he dropped his eighth straight decision.
Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said Sonnanstine gets into trouble when his off-speed pitches float over the heart of the plate. That was the case with a curveball that Catalanotto hit out of the park.
"His fastball was good but he made mistakes with his breaking pitches," Maddon said. "He made a mistake to Catalanotto on the breaking ball. He's got to get them in better locations. He's getting hurt a lot more with the soft one than the hard one."
McCarthy allowed three unearned runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Catalanotto's previous career high was four RBI, which he's done three times. ... When Sonnanstine faced Saltalamacchia, the 25 letters combined in their last names were the most for a pitcher and batter in the majors this season. ... It was 95 degrees when the game started. Both teams took batting practice in the air-conditioned indoor cages. ... Rangers RHP Vicente Padilla allowed one run and three hits in 2 1/3 innings of a rehab start for Double-A Frisco on Friday night. If Padilla has no further setbacks, Washington said Padilla would be brought off the DL for a start Wednesday against Kansas City. Washington said Padilla, who's been on the 15-day DL since June 25 because of right triceps irritation, would be limited to 85 pitches in Wednesday's start. ... David Murphy, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, took over for Catalanotto in left field in the eighth in his Rangers debut.