Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs, Jake Odorizzi helped extend Tampa Bay's impressive road pitching streak with seven strong innings, and the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 Thursday night.
Longoria's team-leading 15th homer was a two-run shot that gave the Rays a 6-2 lead in the fifth. Logan Forsythe had a two-run homer, his fifth, to put the Rays in front to stay in the second.
Odorizzi (9-9) struck out seven to help give the Rays their AL-record 18th consecutive road game without allowing more than three runs.
Robbie Ross (2-5) came up from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in for Texas ace Yu Darvish, who is sidelined with elbow inflammation. The left-hander gave up six runs in 4 1-3 innings.
Odorizzi was the starter the last time Tampa Bay gave up more than three runs -- the last home game before the 10-game trip that just ended with the Rays taking three of four from the Rangers.
The right-hander allowed five runs in a 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 3.
Following up six shutout innings in a win at the Chicago Cubs, Odorizzi retired the final 10 hitters after Geovany Soto's first homer of the season, a two-run shot down the line in left that pulled the
Rangers within 4-2. Longoria went deep to just about the same spot the next inning.
Jake McGee pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances, getting the Rays within three games of the major league record for consecutive road games with three runs or fewer allowed held by the 1908 Cubs.
Ross started the season in the Texas rotation after spending two years as a reliever. He struck out the side in the first but then looked a lot like the pitcher who was sent back to the bullpen in May not long after giving up 30 runs -- 23 earned -- in 26 2-3 innings over five starts.
The homer by Forsythe, who had three hits, came after Yunel Escobar reached with two outs on an infield hit when third baseman Adrian Beltre barehanded the slow roller but threw wide to first.
Ross was gone after four straight hitters reached in the fifth.
Rays: CF Desmond Jennings (shoulder) wasn't in the lineup for the second game after running into the wall Tuesday. ... RF Wil Myers (fractured right wrist) could return from a rehab assignment at Triple-A Durham during next week's series against Detroit.
Rangers: An MRI showed that Darvish's elbow inflammation is not a long-term concern, but there's no timetable for his return. He will miss at least two starts and will resume throwing when the tightness eases.
Rays: Tampa Bay goes home to face the New York Yankees in the first of 32 consecutive games against teams currently in playoff contention. RHP Alex Cobb (7-6, 3.41) goes for his sixth straight win, opposing Yankees RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-1, 2.21 with New York).
Rangers: RHP Nick Martinez (2-8, 5.22) opens a weekend series against the Los Angeles Angels after snapping a 10-start winless streak by beating Houston his last time out. It was the longest such streak for a Texas starter since R.A. Dickey went 11 starts without a win in 2004-05.