ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Texas Rangers pulled into a tie for the top American League wild-card spot with Tampa Bay on Tuesday, hammering the Rays 7-1 at Tropicana Field to end a seven-game losing streak.
Both teams are 82-68 with two games left in the series.
Texas starter Alexi Ogando (7-4) allowed a run on two hits in five innings and escaped two potential jams. Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson (11-9) allowed five runs in less than three innings of work for the second time in his past four starts.
Ian Kinsler (2-for-5) and Elvis Andrus (2-for-3) each homered and drove in three runs. Leonys Martin homered and doubled twice, scoring three times from the ninth spot in the batting order.
Tampa Bay managed just four hits off Ogando and four relievers.
Texas took a 1-0 lead -- its first in eight games spanning 64 innings -- when Kinsler belted the first pitch of the game for his 12th home run of the season. The Rangers added four runs in the third to chase Hellickson after 2 2/3 innings.
Mitch Moreland led off the third with a walk and took third on a Martin double. Kinsler hit the first pitch for a two-run single. Andrus then walloped a 2-0 fastball into the left field stands for a 4-0 lead.
Tampa Bay had two hits and scored a run in the bottom of the third but stranded runners on second and third.
The run came on Jose Lobaton's seventh homer of the season, a towering shot tucked inside the right field foul pole that trimmed the Rangers' lead to 4-1. Ogando subsequently allowed a walk to Yunel Escobar and a single by Ben Zobrist but escaped despite a wild pitch, retiring Wil Myers and James Loney to end the threat.
NOTES: Manager Ron Washington told a Dallas radio station that the Rangers' problems this month have made him "concerned about my job." Washington said he had not had any conversations with the front office about his job security, and CEO Nolan Ryan told the same ESPN Dallas radio station on Monday that Washington should and would survive the season. ... Rays RHP Jesse Crain (right shoulder strain) may be activated Wednesday after a positive session facing hitters Monday. ... SS Tim Beckham, RHP Jake Odorizzi and LHP Jeff Beliveau are likely to be recalled by the Rays after the Triple-A championship game Tuesday night. Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate, Durham, lost the title game to Omaha, 2-1. ... The Rays selected the contract of OF Freddy Guzman, 32, and added him to the active roster. Guzman has played in 47 major league games, most recently with the New York Yankees in 2009.