Rangers 12, Devil Rays 10
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Manager Lou Piniella can’t explain why Devil Rays pitchers have given up so many grand slams.
The Devil Rays have given up four slams in the last six games, two shy of the most they allowed in an entire season. Entering Wednesday, the rest of the AL had give up just three.
“I don’t know … We’re going to start putting the balls in the freezer,” Piniella said with a smile.
Barajas was mired in a 1-for-14 slide before putting the Rangers up 6-1 with a homer on the first pitch off John Webb during a five-run fourth inning. 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.
“We took a game where we scored a lot of runs and made it real interesting,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said.
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,” Crawford said. “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 hit an RBI double, Jorge Cantu had a run-scoring single and Huff added a sacrifice fly to pull Tampa Bay to 12-10 in the eighth.
Webb (0-1) was called up from Triple-A Durham earlier Wednesday to replace injured left-hander Mark Hendrickson. He allowed eight runs and six hits over four-plus innings in his first career start and fifth major league appearance.
Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the first on Huff’s sacrifice fly. Hank Blalock tied it with an RBI double in the third-inning.
Nix had a run-scoring single before Barajas hit his grand slam in the fourth.
“It was my first at the big league level, so I was excited about that,” Barajas said.
Tampa Bay scored just once—on Johnson’s walk—after loading the bases with one out in the bottom half. Alex Gonzalez hit into an inning-ending double play.
Mench had a three-run triple and Nix added an RBI single to put Texas up 10-2 in the fifth.
Texas got two runs back in the seventh on Nix’s third RBI single and Alfonso Soriano’s sacrifice fly.
Soriano went 1-for-3 with a walk after missing one game because of a bruised left knee. After talking Showalter about the decision before Tuesday’s 3-0 win against Oakland, Soriano kicked a garbage can onto its side and then kicked a rolling laundry cart when he came back into the clubhouse.
Rangers minor league RHP Agustin Montero was suspended for 10 days, becoming the third player to test positive under major league baseball’s new steroids policy. Agustin, who has never appeared in a major league game, failed the drug test while he was on the Rangers’ 40-man roster during spring training. … To make room for Nix, 1B-DH Adrian Gonzalez was optioned to Oklahoma. … Hendrickson, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday with a left shoulder injury, could make his next start on April 29. … With Hendrickson in line to pitch next week, Webb will move into the bullpen.