ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Elvis Andrus had a two-run single in a four-run second inning and the Texas Rangers won their fourth straight, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 on Thursday night.
Neither starter, Texas’ Nick Martinez or Tampa Bay’s Chris Archer, made it through the fifth inning. Martinez (0.84) and Archer (1.64) entered second and third, respectively in ERA in the American League.
Alex Claudio (1-0) went 1 1-3 innings for his first major league victory. He retired James Loney on a grounder with two on to end the fifth. Neftali Feliz pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Andrus’ single off Archer put Texas up 4-0. Rougned Odor loaded the bases with two outs when he reached base on a wild pitch while striking out. Andrus lined his single to center after Delino DeShields and Shin-Soo Choo both walked on 3-2 pitches with the bases loaded.
Archer (3-4) gave up five runs, four hits and four walks and struck out eight in 3 1-3 innings.
Prince Fielder made it 5-0 in the fourth with an RBI single off Erasmo Ramirez.
Martinez allowed three runs and six hits over 4 2-3 innings. The right-hander sailed through four innings before allowing three runs in the fifth and getting pulled with two outs in the inning.
Jake Elmore had an RBI single, and both Tim Beckham and Kevin Kiermaier had run-scoring grounders off Martinez to get the Rays within 5-3 in the fifth.
Kiermaier’s solo shot in the eighth cut the deficit to 5-4.
Rays third baseman Evan Longoria was scratched from the starting lineup due to flu-like symptoms. That ended his major league-best active streak of playing in 270 consecutive games.
Rangers: OF Josh Hamilton (right shoulder) could join Triple-A Round Rock from extended spring training this weekend. … 1B Mitch Moreland (shoulder) could also play for Round Rock this weekend. … CF Leonys Martin (wrist) hit off a tee. … LHP Matt Harrison (back) threw batting practice to Hamilton.
Rays: RHP Alex Cobb (elbow) plans to decide in the next few weeks if he will have elbow ligament replacement surgery.
Rangers: RHP Yovani Gallardo (2-4, 4.05) is Friday night’s starter against the Rays. He has lost three consecutive starts.
Rays: RHP Nathan Karns (1-1, 4.05) will face the Rangers on Friday night. It’s his first career start against an AL West team.