ST. PETERSBURG -- Back-to-back home runs from Rougned Odor, his second of the day, and Carlos Gomez helped the Rangers erase a three-run deficit to take a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.The Rays got a rally going in the ninth when they had
ST. PETERSBURG -- Back-to-back home runs from Rougned Odor, his second of the day, and Carlos Gomez helped the Rangers erase a three-run deficit to take a 6-5 come-from-behind win over the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Tropicana Field.
The Rays got a rally going in the ninth when they had runners on first and second with two outs and Steven Souza Jr. hitting. But Jose Leclerc struck him out to end the threat, and the game.
The win gave the Rangers (48-50) a sweep of the three-game series, while sending the Rays (51-48) to their fourth consecutive loss.
• Cut4: Gomez nearly lost his balance on his go-ahead homer
"Our guys know what the urgency is to win baseball games," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "And to win them in the fashion we did in this set of three comeback wins, an extra-inning win -- just a show of the heart and the grit these guys have. I think it's a huge plus for us going forward."
The Rangers were able to earn a split of their 10-game road trip, in spite of the five-game losing streak that happened through Kansas City and Baltimore.
"I feel like even when we were losing, we weren't down," Joey Gallo said. "We knew things would start going our way. That's how we're just approaching the season. Obviously, [we'll] try to carry this into the homestand, which we're excited to get there after a long road series, and keep that going."
• Cut4: A bunt attempt backfired on Sucre as he knocked off his own helmet
Brad Boxberger surrendered both home runs in the eighth. Odor's came after he walked the second batter of the inning, Mike Napoli.
"As far as Box goes, the home runs are going to happen," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "It's the walks. The second batter walk to Napoli. [The Rangers are] built similar to us offensively in the fact they rely on walks and home runs. We've done that time and time again, where guys have walked us and then we make them pay double for it with a home run. It happened to us today."
• Cut4: Holland paid tribute to the late Sister Francis
After falling behind 5-2, the Rangers got a solo home run from Gallo off Jake Odorizzi in the fifth to cut the lead to 5-3.
The Rays bullpen then got to work, posting three scoreless innings after Odorizzi departed with no outs in the fifth.
The Rangers got off to an early lead when Adrian Beltre tripled off Odorizzi to start the Rangers' second. Career hit No. 2,988 led to the first run of the game when Napoli delivered a sacrifice fly. Beltre added a single in the ninth to push him 11 hits away from 3,000. Odor followed Napoli's sacrifice fly with his 18th home run of the season to put the Rangers up, 2-0.
• Cut4: Beltre jumped out to pick up a pitch in the dirt
The Rays answered in the bottom half of the inning when Adeiny Hechavarria singled home Souza, and Mallex Smith grounded into a double play to score another and tie the game at 2.
Smith had a two-run double in the fourth, then scored when Brad Miller drew a bases-loaded walk from Tyson Ross to give the Rays a 5-2 lead.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Back-to-back: Trailing 5-3 in the eighth, the Rangers took on one of the Rays' best in Boxberger. After Beltre struck out to start the inning, Napoli walked to bring Odor to the plate. The Rangers second baseman connected on a 2-2 pitch and reached the seats for his 19th home run of the season to tie the game at 5. But the Rangers weren't finished. Gomez drove a 1-0 Boxberger offering into the left-field stands to put the Rangers up, 6-5.
Every run counts: The Rays scored three in the fourth, but the one they didn't score ended up haunting them. Smith had just doubled home two with one out to put runners at second and third for Jesus Sucre. The Rangers drew in their infield to cut off the play at the plate -- which was exactly what they did. Sucre grounded to Odor and the Rangers second baseman threw home to Robinson Chirinos, who tagged out Hechavarria in a collision at the plate for the second out of the inning. Chirinos was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the following inning, diagnosed with a sprained left ankle on the play. X-rays were negative.
"The last couple of outings haven't exactly gone the way I have wanted them to. Definitely walking more than I want to. It starts with throwing strikes and getting ahead of guys and I haven't been able to do that recently." -- Boxberger, on his outing
"Right now is the right time for us to get hot as an offense, to get hot as a team and start putting everything together." -- Elvis Andrus, on the Rangers' footing heading back to Arlington
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Odorizzi allowed two home runs, moving his total for the season to 23. He has now surrendered at least one home run in 15 consecutive starts.
The Rays challenged a call in the sixth when Odor was called safe at first on a ball he hit to second. After a delay of 45 seconds, the call was overturned for the first out of the inning.
The Rays made their second challenge of the day when Smith was called out attempting to steal second in the sixth. After a 1 minute, 44 second delay, the call was overturned.
Rangers: After the conclusion of the team's 10-game road trip, the Rangers will play at home for the first time in the second half Monday. Martin Perez (5-7, 4.72) will take on the Marlins at 7:05 p.m. CT.
Rays:Blake Snell (0-5, 4.98) gets the nod on Monday when the Rays open a three-game series against the Orioles in a 7:10 p.m. ET contest at Tropicana Field. Six of Snell's final seven outs came via strikeouts in his last start, a four-inning outing against the Athletics.
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Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Petersburg and covered the Rangers on Sunday.