|Texas (82-68) «||1||0||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||7||10||1|
|Tampa Bay (82-68)||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||4||0|
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- It took only one pitch Tuesday night for the Texas Rangers to take the lead in a game for the first time in more than a week.
"Obviously we've been fighting from behind a lot in this last week or so," Kinsler said. "So to be able to get a first hit out of the way, and a first run out of the way, gave [Alexi] Ogando a little bit of breathing room."
Elvis Andrus felt it from the on-deck circle.
"I think the homer by Ian made the whole team just relax," he said. "We haven't scored first in a little while."
Kinsler and Andrus each had a home run and three RBI to help the Rangers pull 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.
"Given the circumstances, it's a big win," Kinsler said.
"You've got to have a sense of relief when you lose seven in a row and you know you're a better team than that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
Kinsler's 12th home run broke 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 previous 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 Helickson (11-9). Andrus followed with his third home run of the season to put the Rangers up 5-0.
"The first pitch of the game was not a good fastball," Hellickson said. "Then I settled down a bit, but in the third I walked the leadoff guy [Mitch Moreland] and you can't do that against a lineup like that."
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 hit a home run in the third inning.
Washington said after the game that Ogando will start Sunday at Kansas City.
"Ogando went out there and did way beyond the call of duty, and I think he deserves a lot of credit," Washington said. "We weren't expecting five [innings]. I was hoping he could go deep, but he gave us five quality innings."
Leonys Martin doubled twice and added a ninth-inning home run, his eighth of the season.
Rookie Wil Myers had two of Tampa Bay's four hits.
Hellickson, who is 1-6 in his past nine starts, gave up five earned runs in 2 2/3 innings.
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 Rangers' 43-33 road record is the best in the majors. ... 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.
|Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus homers in Texas' four-run third inning, helping the slumping team to a needed win. (USATSI)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Ian Kinsler, 2B||5||2||2||3||0||0||2||.274|
|Elvis Andrus, SS||3||1||2||3||1||0||0||.269|
|Alex Rios, RF||5||0||1||0||0||0||3||.280|
|Adrian Beltre, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.318|
|A.J. Pierzynski, C||4||0||0||0||0||0||1||.279|
|Lance Berkman, DH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.242|
|a-Jeff Baker, PH-DH||3||0||0||0||0||2||1||.274|
|Jim Adduci, LF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.348|
|b-Craig Gentry, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.246|
|Mitch Moreland, 1B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.234|
|Leonys Martin, CF||4||3||3||1||0||0||1||.263|
|Alexi Ogando, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joakim Soria, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Neal Cotts, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Tanner Scheppers, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Nathan, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-struck out for Berkman in the 4th|
|b-flied out for Adduci in the 8th|
|2B - Mitch Moreland (23, Torres), Leonys Martin 2 (18, Hellickson)|
|HR - Ian Kinsler (12, Hellickson), Elvis Andrus (3, Hellickson), Leonys Martin (8, Ramos)|
|SF - Elvis Andrus (6)|
|RBI - Ian Kinsler 3 (66), Elvis Andrus 3 (61), Leonys Martin (39)|
|Team LOB - 5|
|DP - Moreland-Andrus|
|E - Elvis Andrus (14, Throwing)|
|Alexi Ogando (W,7-4)||5||2||1||1||1||4||1||3.15|
|WP - Alexi Ogando (6)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Alexi Ogando 69-40, Joakim Soria 17-10, Neal Cotts 18-10, Tanner Scheppers 9-6, Joe Nathan 11-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Alexi Ogando 6-5, Joakim Soria 1-1, Neal Cotts 1-2, Tanner Scheppers 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Alexi Ogando 18, Joakim Soria 4, Neal Cotts 3, Tanner Scheppers 3, Joe Nathan 4|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Ben Zobrist, 2B-SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||0||.275|
|Wil Myers, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||2||.301|
|James Loney, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||1||4||.300|
|Evan Longoria, 3B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.266|
|Matt Joyce, DH||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.240|
|a-Delmon Young, PH-DH||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.258|
|Desmond Jennings, CF||3||0||0||0||0||1||0||.242|
|David DeJesus, LF||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.248|
|b-Sean Rodriguez, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.250|
|Jose Lobaton, C||2||1||1||1||0||0||1||.257|
|c-Kelly Johnson, PH-2B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.241|
|Yunel Escobar, SS||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||.263|
|d-Luke Scott, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.242|
|Chris Gimenez, C||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.500|
|Jeremy Hellickson, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.333|
|Wesley Wright, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brandon Gomes, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Alex Torres, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Roberto Hernandez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Cesar Ramos, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Josh Lueke, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-popped out for Joyce in the 7th|
|b-grounded out for DeJesus in the 7th|
|c-grounded out for Lobaton in the 8th|
|d-struck out for Escobar in the 8th|
|2B - Wil Myers (18, Soria)|
|HR - Jose Lobaton (7, Ogando)|
|RBI - Jose Lobaton (30)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|Tampa Bay Rays|
|Jeremy Hellickson (L,11-9)||2.2||4||5||5||1||1||2||5.23|
|Pitches-Strikes - Jeremy Hellickson 40-24, Wesley Wright 25-18, Brandon Gomes 18-12, Alex Torres 12-9, Roberto Hernandez 22-15, Cesar Ramos 23-14, Josh Lueke 8-5|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jeremy Hellickson 3-4, Wesley Wright 2-0, Alex Torres 3-1, Roberto Hernandez 2-0, Josh Lueke 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Jeremy Hellickson 13, Wesley Wright 5, Brandon Gomes 4, Alex Torres 5, Roberto Hernandez 4, Cesar Ramos 5, Josh Lueke 3|
|Attendance - 10786|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 72|
|Umpires - Home - Manny Gonzalez, First Base - Eric Cooper, Second Base - Tony Randazzo, Third Base - Larry Vanover|