Rangers, Rays resume important set at the Trop

10:00 AM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Texas Rangers try to make it two straight wins on Wednesday when they continue a four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Texas ended its season-worst seven-game losing streak on Tuesday, as Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus each had three RBI to help the Rangers to a 7-1 win. Kinsler homered to begin the game and Andrus went deep during a four-run third for Texas, which won for only the second time in its last 12 games and pulled into a tie atop the wild card standings with the Rays.

"Given the circumstances, it was a big win. We're gonna try to build off it as best we can," Kinsler said.

Alexi Ogando (7-4), making his first start for Texas since Aug. 13, limited the Rays to two hits, one being a Jose Lobaton homer, in five innings of work.

Starter Jeremy Hellickson (11-9) lasted just 2 2/3 innings in his outing for Tampa Bay.

The Rays and Rangers are a half-game up on Cleveland in the playoff race.

"I just didn't start off right. I settled down a little bit, and in the third walked the leadoff guy and you can't do that against a lineup like that," Hellickson said.

Getting the call for Texas on Wednesday is lefty Derek Holland, who has lost his last three starts and is winless in his last seven. Holland was roughed up badly by the Oakland Athletics on Friday, as he surrendered six runs in three innings to drop him to 9-9, while raising his ERA to 3.49.

"Despite what happened in the Oakland game, I still saw a lot of positives," Holland said. "My bullpens since then have been great, getting my mechanics in shape, finishing my pitches and hitting my spots. It just seems like I wasn't getting all the way through the ball."

Holland is 4-3 in nine starts versus the Rays with a 4.92 ERA.

Tampa, meanwhile, will counter with rookie Chris Archer, who was terrific in beating Minnesota on Friday. Archer scattered three hits over six scoreless innings to run his record to 9-7 to go along with a 3.03 ERA.

Archer did not get a decision in his only other meeting with the Rangers.

Texas has won three of five matchups with the Rays this season.

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