Rangers 5, Devil Rays 3
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Kenny Rogers won his first game in over a month, and he’s still not happy.
“I am frustrated because I gave up three runs,” said Rogers, who gave up three runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings. “I felt like this was the best stuff and location I’ve had in a couple of months.”
Former Ranger Rob Bell (5-6) allowed five runs and six hits over 4 2-3 innings. He pitched for Texas in 2001 and 2002.
“I didn’t think Rob was trying to be too fine, he just got hit,” Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said.
Nix, who was just 3-for-21 in his last seven games, hit a two-run homer in the second inning off Rob Bell. Soriano added a solo shot in the fifth.
Rogers (14-5) was helped out by a stellar defensive play from David Dellucci. With the bases loaded and two outs in the fourth and the Rangers ahead 3-1, Dellucci made a leaping grab of Toby Hall’s liner in front of the warning track in left.
“A lot of guys would have tried to make that play look easy,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said. “Dellucci would rather make the catch than look aesthetically pleasing.”
Rogers was coming off one of his worst outings off the season. He gave up eight runs in four innings Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles.
In his previous eight starts, he had 7.90 ERA.
“Those guys (in the bullpen) have done a tremendous job,” Rogers said. “But I want to go deeper in games to give those guys some rest.”
After Martinez’ solo shot gave Tampa Bay a 1-0 lead, Hank Blalock singled to lead off the second. One out later, Nix hit his 12th homer to give Texas the lead for good.
Dellucci had an RBI single in the fourth.
Soriano gave Texas a 4-1 lead with a his 24th homer in the fifth. Mark Teixeria added an RBI single to chase Bell. Trever Miller relieved Bell.
Rogers was lifted in the sixth after Hall’s two-run single brought the Devil Rays to 5-3. Almanzar ended Tampa Bay’s rally when Jorge Cantu flew out.
The Devil Rays had a chance to rally late when they put runners on first and third, but Aubrey Huff grounded out to end the game.
“Hall hit a ball to left that they made a great play on,” Piniella said. “We had our chances.”
Tampa Bay center fielder Rocco Baldelli left in the second inning with a strained right quadriceps. He bounced into a double play to end the first inning.
Piniella said it is likely Baldelli will go on the disabled list.
Tampa Bay released Robert Fick and optioned RHP Jeremi Gonzalez to Triple-A Durham before Friday’s game. The Devil Rays called up Cantu and RHP Franklin Nunez. … Soriano extended his hitting streak to 10 games. … Rogers had not won more than 13 games since 1998 when he won 16 with Oakland.