ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Laynce Nix homered and drove in three
runs, including a tiebreaking sacrifice fly, and the Texas Rangers
beat the slumping Tampa Bay Devil Rays 6-2 on Sunday to sweep the
Mark Teixeira also hit a two-run homer for the Rangers, and Ryan
Drese pitched 7 1-3 solid innings to win his third straight start
and tie a career high with his 10th victory. Drese (10-6) gave up
two runs and seven hits before being relieved by Ron Mahay in the
Aubrey Huff hit his 22nd homer for the Devil Rays, who have lost
six in a row. Tampa Bay completed its seven-game road trip 1-6, and
has lost 15 of its past 16 road games. The Devil Rays are 14-25
since moving a season-high two games over .500 at 40-38 on July 3.
The Rangers broke a 2-2 tie with a pair of runs in the fourth
Hank Blalock drew a leadoff walk for Jorge Sosa (3-2) and
Teixeira followed with a double to put runners on second and third.
Nix hit a sacrifice fly that gave Texas a 3-2 lead. After an
intentional walk to Gary Matthews Jr., Rod Barajas added another
sacrifice fly to make it 4-2.
That was more than enough support for Drese, whose 2.17 home ERA
tops the American League. In his last three starts, Drese has given
up two runs in 20 1-3 innings. He lowered his ERA to 3.31-- the
third-best mark in the AL.
B.J. Upton gave the Devil Rays a 1-0 lead in the second inning
with an RBI triple that scored Jose Cruz Jr., who led off with a
The Rangers took a 2-1 lead in their half of the second when
Kevin Mench tripled and Nix followed with his 13th home run.
Huff's homer in the third -- the first allowed by Drese in 66
innings -- tied the game at 2.
Sosa allowed five runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Teixeira's two-run homer off reliever Danys Baez in the eighth
was his 28th.
The Rangers won the season series 7-2. Tampa Bay has never
won a season series against Texas. ... Texas designated left-hander
Mike Bacsik for assignment and recalled infielder Manny Alexander
from Triple-A Oklahoma. ... The Devil Rays opened their 7-game road
trip by beating Curt Schilling and the Boston Red Sox last Monday.