Texas (8-8) at Tampa Bay (5-10)

Light Rain Currently: St. Petersburg, FL
Temp: 66° F
  • Game info: 7:15 pm EDT Thu Apr 21, 2005
  • TV: KDFI, WPXM
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Tampa Bay Devil Rays are getting their share of hits and runs, but wins have been difficult to come by.

The Devil Rays hope to avoid their sixth loss in seven games as they wrap up a two-game series against the Texas Rangers at Tropicana Field.

Rod Barajas hit his first career grand slam, Kevin Mench had a bases-loaded triple as the Rangers beat Tampa Bay 12-10 on Wednesday.

A night after beating the New York Yankees 6-2, the Devil Rays outhit Texas 15-11 but lost for the fifth time in six games.

“I’d be lying if I said it ain’t frustrating,” said Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford, who had three hits to raise his batting average to .306. “What can you do? You’ve got to take it in stride. You’ve got to keep grinding it out. Show up the next day and try again.”

Crawford, Charles Johnson and Aubrey Huff had two RBIs each for the Devil Rays. Shortstop Julio Lugo had three hits to lift his batting average to .305.

Tampa Bay will try to get the bats going against Texas starter Kenny Rogers.

The veteran southpaw has dominated the Devil Rays with an 8-1 record and 2.42 ERA in 10 career starts against them. The 40-year-old Rogers is winless in three starts despite a respectable 3.44 ERA.

Rogers hopes his Texas teammates can come up with another big night at the plate.

Barajas was mired in a 1-for-14 slide before putting the Rangers up 6-1 with a homer during a five-run fourth inning on Wednesday. Mench drove in three runs in a four-run fifth.

“We got the big hits when we needed them,” Mench said. “Rod got one pitch to hit and he hammered it.”

Laynce Nix, recalled by the Rangers from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game, had three run-scoring singles.

Before spring training, Nix had been expected to be the starting center fielder for the Rangers, a role he filled for 99 games last season. But Nix hit just .197 in the spring and began this season in the minors.

Nix hit .333 with three home runs and six RBIs in 10 games for Oklahoma.

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Starting Pitchers

K. Rogers Det vs. D. Brazelton StL
14-8 Record 1-8
3.46 ERA 7.61
87 K 43
53 BB 60
1.32 WHIP 2.07