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Three-run HRs power Rays to victory over Rangers

ST. PETERSBURG -- A pair of three-run homers lifted the Rays in a 7-2 win over the Rangers on Saturday night at Tropicana Field.

Evan Longoria got Tampa Bay rolling with a three-run blast in the first off of Ross Detwiler. Steven Souza Jr. added a three-run shot in the fifth off Anthony Bass to give the Rays a 6-2 lead.

"We'll take those three-run homers every night, and then some," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. More >

Video: [email protected]: Souza Jr. drills three-run shot, widens lead

Carlos Peguero put the Rangers on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer off Tampa Bay starter Matt Andriese.

Asdrubal Cabrera added a home run for the Rays in the eighth to equal the final margin.

Rangers manager Jeff Banister wasn't happy that his team was 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.

"We've got to find a way to punch in some runs," Banister said. "Leaving 11 runners on base is not what we want to be doing."

Long-gone Longo: Longoria had just one home run at the start of the week, and that one dated back to the first game of the season. That changed Wednesday night, when he had the 14th multiple-homer game of his career with two at Boston. Saturday night added to his power week with his first-inning blast. He's done all this while battling the flu all week.

Blanks, Peguero up and down: The Rangers were down, 3-0, in the fourth when Kyle Blanks singled and Peguero homered. But the two weren't quite up to the task in the fifth after a pair of one-out singles by Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre. Reliever Brandon Gomes struck out Blanks, and then Steve Geltz came in and struck out Peguero to maintain the Rays' 3-2 lead.

Debut with a bang: Andrew Bellatti made his Major League debut Saturday night when he entered the game to start the sixth. He proceeded to pitch 3 1/3 innings before giving way to Brad Boxberger with one out and the bases loaded in the ninth. In doing so, the right-hander picked up the win.

Video: [email protected]: Bellatti fans Choo in MLB debut to end frame

Still, when asked if he could have done more, he replied, "Actually, yeah. Finishing out the ninth so Box didn't have to come in. But it is what it is."
More >

Bad walk costs Detwiler: The Rangers trailed by one run when Detwiler went out to pitch the fifth. He began the inning by walking Rene Rivera, the Rays' No. 9 hitter who was batting .129 coming into the game and struck out in his first at-bat. Brandon Guyer followed with a single, and that was it for Detwiler. Banister brought in right-hander Anthony Bass, who gave up a three-run home run to Souza. More >

"It was a good [celebration]. We all cheered." -- Cash, on the celebration after seeing the team's 0-for-11 streak end when Tampa Bay won its first challenge of the year

Cabrera's home run ended a career-long 49-game home run drought. He last homered on Sept. 3, while playing for the Nationals at Dodger Stadium.

Video: [email protected]: Cabrera drills a solo shot to extend the lead

The Rangers gave up a pair of three-run home runs. They have hit just three such homers all season.

The Rangers lost a fourth-inning challenge after Cabrera was called safe on a pick-off play at second. Rangers second baseman Adam Rosales put down a hard tag on Cabrera, which caused the Rays' shortstop to push Rosales and the benches to clear. The situation settled quickly and the call was confirmed after a review of three minutes and 30 seconds. More >

Video: [email protected]: Pick-off try challenged in 4th, benches clear

Umpires again had to go to replay with two outs in the top of the seventh. Adrian Beltre grounded to Logan Forsythe, and the Rays' third baseman skipped his throw to James Loney. Initially, the slick-fielding first baseman bobbled the ball before snatching it out of the air. Beltre was called safe at first, prompting Cash to challenge. After one minute and 16 seconds, the call on the field was overturned, thereby snapping an 0-for-11 record this season for Rays challenges.

Video: [email protected]: Rays challenge safe call at first in 7th

Rangers: Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez makes his fourth start for Texas on Sunday at 12:10 p.m. CT. Signed as a Minor League free agent at the end of Spring Training, Rodriguez is entrenching himself in the Rangers' rotation. He allowed one run in eight innings in a 7-1 victory over the Astros on Tuesday.

Rays: After getting scratched from making his scheduled start on Saturday night due to the flu, Jake Odorizzi will start Sunday at Tropicana Field at 1:10 p.m. ET. He's coming off a quality start against the Red Sox in which he allowed one run in seven innings, while effectively pitching out of trouble for most of the night.

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Bill Chastain is a reporter for T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger.
Read More: Asdrubal Cabrera, Evan Longoria, Andrew Bellatti, Ross Detwiler, Steven Souza Jr., Carlos Peguero, Matt Andriese, Adam Rosales