photo credit: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images
Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler homered and drove in three to draw even with the Rays in the Wild Card standings Tuesday.
by Steve Carney / 620 WDAE
The Texas Rangers jumped on Rays pitching from the very first offering.
Ian Kinsler blasted a leadoff home run and drove in three total as the Rangers beat Tampa Bay 7-1 Tuesday.
Kinsler didn't wait, unloading on Jeremy Hellickson's first pitch of the game and sending it into 162 Landing to give the Rangers a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Hellickson retired the rest of the Rangers in order in the first and had a perfect second frame, but the right-hander walked Mitch Moreland to start the third, then gave up a double to Leonys Martin. Kinsler's single to center then brought in both Moreland and Martin to make it 3-0, and Elvis Andrus followed with a two-run blast to left for a 5-0 lead
Hellickson wouldn't get out of the third.
Tampa Bay's only tally came in the bottom of the fourth, when Jose Lobaton lifted a solo homer to right off Alexi Ogando.
Texas added single runs in the fifth on a sacrifice fly from Andrus and in the ninth on a solo home run by Martin.
Tampa Bay and Texas are once again tied for the two Wild Card spots.
The Rays will look to rebound, with Chris Archer (9-7, 3.03 ERA) taking on Derek Holland (9-9, 3.40 ERA). Pregame coverage on 620 WDAE and 95.3 FM starts at 7:00 with first pitch scheduled for 7:10