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Beltre's RBIs help Rangers earn split with Rays

MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Beltre proved to be the Rangers' offensive advantage in a 2-1 win over the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

With the series split, the Rays are 8-1-2 over their last 11 home series against the Rangers, including a 2007 set in Orlando.

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ST. PETERSBURG -- Adrian Beltre proved to be the Rangers' offensive advantage in a 2-1 win over the Rays on Sunday at Tropicana Field.

With the series split, the Rays are 8-1-2 over their last 11 home series against the Rangers, including a 2007 set in Orlando.

View Full Game Coverage

"Good way to end the road trip," Texas manager Jeff Banister. "We started off the trip with a 2-1 win and ended with this one. Guys laid it all on the line for this one."

Beltre broke a scoreless tie in the fourth with a solo home run off Rays starter Jake Odorizzi. The Rangers third baseman added an RBI single off reliever Kevin Jepsen in the eighth for a 2-1 lead.

Wandy Rodriguez started for the Rangers and was perfect through five innings before Tim Beckham singled to left to start the sixth. That beginning led to Brandon Guyer's RBI single that tied the game at 1.

"Defense was outstanding tonight, put together some at-bats, but you have to give credit to their guy on the mound," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "He did a good job of cruising for four or five innings, he's been on a good run lately."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Wandy sets record: Rodriguez retired the first 15 batters he faced, enabling him to set a Rangers record with 34 straight batters retired. Rodriguez retired the last 19 batters faced on Tuesday against the Astros. More >

Video: TEX@TB: Wandy retires 32nd consecutive hitter

Not in the zone: Jepsen couldn't find the strike zone in the eighth. The normally dependable reliever walked the first two batters before Beltre singled home Elvis Andrus to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The Rays' defense helped Jepsen with an odd 5-4-6 double-play before he left with two outs in the inning. Of the 23 pitches Jepsen threw, just nine were strikes.

"The ball kept wanting to go off the corner," said Jepsen, when asked about his struggles with the strike zone. "You walk that many guys in the game, especially in the middle of that lineup, I'm lucky to get out of there with one run against them."

Andrus' spectacular catch: With the score tied at 1, the Rays had the bases loaded with one out in the sixth and Evan Longoria batting. Rodriguez was still pitching for the Rangers. Longoria ripped a line drive up the middle, but shortstop Andrus made a diving catch to his left and then flipped the ball to second baseman Adam Rosales to double up the baserunner for an inning-ending double play.

Video: TEX@TB: Andrus dives to rob Longoria, turns two

Heads-up play: Beckham opened the sixth by slashing a single to left, giving the Rays their first hit against Rodriguez. Kevin Kiermaier next grounded to second for what appeared to be a sure double-play ball. But Beckham played it smart. Rangers second baseman Rosales committed to tagging Beckham rather than throwing to Andrus covering at second. Beckham wisely stopped in his tracks long enough to give Kiermaier time to safely reach first before Beckham was tagged out for the first out of the inning. Kiermaier later scored on Guyer's single to tie the game at 1.

"Really heads-up play on his part," Cash said.

Video: TEX@TB: Beckham ends Wandy's retired hitters streak

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Beltre homered in the second inning, giving him 398 for his career. He is now tied for 54th all-time with Dale Murphy, and Beltre is one behind Al Kaline and Andres Galarraga.

Video: TEX@TB: Beltre cranks solo homer with pink bat

WHAT'S NEXT
Rangers: Colby Lewis starts for the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT on Monday against the Royals in Arlington. It's the first of a four-game series. The seven-game homestand concludes with three against the Indians next weekend.

Rays: Alex Colome will make his third start of the season on Monday at home in the series opener against the Yankees at 7:10 p.m. ET. He has not issued a walk in his previous two starts spanning 10 innings this season, the first time in his career that he has gone back-to-back starts without allowing a walk.

Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.

Tim Beckham, Adrian Beltre, Brandon Guyer, Jake Odorizzi, Wandy Rodriguez