Rangers 7, Devil Rays 5
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP)—Mark DeRosa has made an immediate impact since returning to the Texas lineup.
DeRosa hit a two-run homer, one of Texas’ three in the game, and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 7-5 on Tuesday night.
The second baseman went 3-for-4 and has six hits in 10 at-bats since being activated from the 15-day disabled list Sunday. He had been sidelined by a sprained left foot.
“It feels good to be swinging the bat good and being able to get out there and just be healthy and have fun,” DeRosa said. “You miss those things. The team is rolling right now and just to be in the middle of it is nice.”
DeRosa gave Texas a 4-2 lead with the two-run homer off Mark Hendrickson (1-2) in the fifth.
“To get him back, he’s been a real shot in the arm for us,” Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s swinging the bat well and the guys really rally around him.”
Kevin Mench and Brad Wilkerson hit back-to-back homers for Texas, which has won nine of 12. The Rangers swept the two games from Tampa Bay to win a fourth consecutive road series for the first time since 1992.
Robinson Tejeda (1-0) won in his Texas debut, allowing two runs, three hits and six walks in five innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma before the game.
“I was pressing a little too much,” Tejeda said. “When you’re pitching the first time on a new team, sometimes you want to do too much. It’s kind of different pitching in Triple-A than in the big leagues.”
Tejeda, acquired in an April 1 trade with Philadelphia, went 4-3 with a 3.57 ERA with the Phillies last season. Akinori Otsuka, the sixth Texas reliever, pitched the ninth for his third save.
Damon Hollins had a solo homer for the Devil Rays, who have lost 10 of 14. Tampa Bay has dropped all five games with Texas this season, and are 11-11 against everyone else.
“They can hit, I know that,” Hollins said. “It’s just one of those weird things where they’re able to keep getting runs off of us, keep us down and we can’t seem to put nothing together against those guys.”
Hendrickson gave up six runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings. He allowed three homers in a game for the second time, the other also coming against the Rangers on April 29, 2003.
“Three pitches got up and they made me pay,” Hendrickson said. “They score runs in bunches and took advantage of my mistakes.”
Mench, who had a seven-game home run streak last month, and Wilkerson hit connected in the sixth to make it 6-2. Mench has 23 RBIs in his last 16 games.
“It came right down to the last drop again,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Wigginton made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly in the first and Hollins homered in the second.
“It was a scrap to get through it, but the finished product, we ended with a `W,”’ Showalter said. “It wasn’t particularly pretty.”
Mench has hit four of his eight homers against Tampa Bay. … Rangers RHP Antonio Alfonseca left in the eighth with a left ankle injury. He will be evaluated Wednesday. … Devil Rays 3B Aubrey Huff (left knee) is scheduled to play Wednesday and Thursday for Class-A Visalia and then be activated from the disabled list Friday. … Rangers CF Gary Matthews Jr. was out of the lineup with a sore left foot. … Tampa Bay SS Julio Lugo (abdominal muscle) could return by early next week. … Devil Rays 2B Jorge Cantu (left foot) is working out, but will likely miss at least two more weeks. … Texas placed LHP Fabio Castro (left groin) on the 15-day disabled list.