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Beltre's homer keys sweep of Rays

ARLINGTON -- Adrian Beltre put the Rangers ahead of starter Drew Smyly and the Rays with the 406th home run of his career, and Texas completed a three-game sweep with a 5-3 victory on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park.

"It's nice. We're playing better baseball at home," Beltre said. "We're playing better defense, the pitching has been outstanding and the offense is more consistent. That's the key as we make our last push, and we have the team to do it, and make the playoffs."

Rangers starter Yovani Gallardo earned the victory despite giving up three runs in 5 1/3 innings. He allowed a season-high 11 hits with a walk and five strikeouts. Smyly took the loss in his first start since May 5, allowing five runs over four innings.

The score was 3-3 when Beltre went deep off Smyly with one out in the third. Ryan Strausborger hit his first Major League home run with one out in the fourth and finished the game with three hits.

Video: [email protected]: Tolleson gets Longoria swinging to end game

Gallardo forced to go off script against Rays

Napoli gets bat going: Mike Napoli started at first base for the Rangers and had his first two hits since being acquired from the Red Sox on Aug. 7. He also made a nice play on an around-the-horn double play in the fourth, coming off the bag to get Rougned Odor's errant throw and putting the tag on Curt Casali.

"I've had some pinch-hits and haven't done much," Napoli said. "I'm trying to get into a routine and get comfortable as to what I have to do to be ready late. It was nice to start, get a couple of at-bats and be able to make some in-game adjustments."

Video: [email protected]: Napoli doubles to left field in the 3rd

Strausborger's single big, too: Strausborger's home run was key, but so was his second-inning single. The Rangers, trailing 3-2, had a runner on first and two out when Strausborger singled to right off Smyly. That kept the inning alive and Delino DeShields followed with a run-scoring single that tied the score. More >

Video: [email protected]: Strausborger pads the Rangers lead with homer

Smyly returns: After 102 days passed since his last start, Smyly made his fourth start of the season. The left-hander allowed five runs on seven hits in four innings. Of the 95 pitches he threw, 61 went for strikes. Smyly fell to 0-2 on the season. More >

Video: [email protected]: Choo plates DeShields with double to center

Colome comes through: With only six relievers in the Rays' bullpen, Alex Colome did a nice job of preserving the group. The right-hander took over for Smyly and pitched three innings, which means the 'pen will be five members strong for Monday's opener in Houston and they won't have to make a roster move.

"[Colome] definitely saved us," Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

Video: [email protected]: Colome gets Beltre to strike out swinging

"It's like a bowling ball. Guys beat it in the ground and it gives our infield guys a chance to make the play. It's just hard to lift." -- Rangers manager Jeff Banister, on reliever Sam Dyson's sinker

"We ran into a pretty hot team. It was hot outside, and they might be a little hotter right now." -- Cash, on the Rangers

Rays: Erasmo Ramirez (9-4, 3.59) ERA will start for the Rays as they open a four-game series against the Astros at 8:10 ET on Monday night at Minute Maid Park. Ramirez has allowed one earned run or fewer in 12 of his 18 starts this season, including eight of his last 10. Since moving into the starting rotation on May 14, Ramirez has made 15 starts and gone 9-3.

Rangers: Left-hander Cole Hamels makes his third start for the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday vs. the Mariners. It will be his first start since Aug. 7, as he was forced to miss a turn because of a sore left groin. He is 0-1 with a 5.93 ERA in his first two starts for Texas.

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Bill Chastain and T.R. Sullivan are reporters for
Read More: Shin-Soo Choo, John Jaso, Delino DeShields, Adrian Beltre, Dan Jennings, James Loney, Ryan Strausborger, Kevin Kiermaier, Drew Smyly