Rangers 6, Devil Rays 5

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Michael Young bailed out the Texas Rangers and closer Francisco Cordero.

Young hit a run-scoring single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Rangers over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-5 on Saturday night. His game-winner came after Cordero gave up a three-run homer to Ty Wigginton with two outs in the top of the ninth.

“We still have all the confidence in the world in Coco,” Young said. “He is just going through one of those stretches that closers go through where there are some bumps in the road. I am glad we could pick him up there.”

The Rangers have won seven of nine games after a 2-7 start, and Young is one of the main reasons.

He is hitting .452 with seven RBIs and six doubles over the past 10 games. He drove in five runs in the Rangers’ 13-7 win over Tampa Bay on Friday night.

“He’s been such a consistent hitter throughout his career,” Texas manager Buck Showalter said of Young. “He can take a mulligan, but he doesn’t.”

Kevin Mench also hit a three-run homer for Texas and has 10 RBIs in the last three games.

“This was a character win for us,” Young said.

Rod Barajas led off the ninth with a single off Tampa Bay reliever Chad Orvella (0-1). Gary Matthews Jr. then hit a grounder to second baseman Jorge Cantu, who threw to second but the umpire ruled shortstop Tomas Perez didn’t have his foot on the base.

Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon watched the replay after the game and said the umpire made the proper call.

Pinch-runner Gerald Laird advanced to second and Matthews was safe at first. Shawn Camp relieved Orvella, and Young singled to center on the first pitch he saw to drive in Laird.

Cordero (2-2) got the win despite blowing his third save of the season.

Fans booed loudly after Wigginton’s homer, and they booed again after Cordero struck out Damon Hollins to end the top of the ninth.

“I heard the fans booing and I don’t blame them,” Cordero said.

Wigginton has homered in seven of his last 11 games and has eight this season.

“I wasn’t trying to hit a homer there,” Wigginton said. “I was looking for a pitch in the zone and luckily it went out.”

Jonny Gomes also hit his eighth home run for Tampa Bay, which fell to 1-4 on its nine-game road trip.

Texas starter John Rheinecker, who was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game, made his big league debut and allowed two runs in four innings. He gave up seven hits and struck out three.

Tampa Bay starter Edwin Jackson allowed five runs and three hits in seven innings. He struck out seven and walked six.

Jackson, who was called up from Triple-A Durham on Friday night, walked Phil Nevin and Hank Blalock to open the second inning. Mench followed with his second homer of the season.

Mench, who had a grand slam and five RBIs on Friday night, did not drive a run in Texas’ first 15 games.

After two more walks in the second, Matthews drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to give Texas a 4-0 lead.

Gomes hit a two-run homer in the third.

Mark Teixeira tripled leading off the third and scored on Blalock’s RBI double to extend Texas’ lead to 5-2.


The Rangers placed LHP Brian Shouse on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a left calf injury. … Cantu extended his hitting streak to nine games with a double in the first. … Tampa Bay dropped to 4-7 on the road.

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