Rangers ride 7-run third inning past Devil Rays

Rangers 12, Devil Rays 9

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers put on the kind of
offensive display that manager Ron Washington had been anticipating
since he took the job in the offseason.

Frank Catalanotto hit a three-run homer in a seven-run third
inning and the Rangers outslugged the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 12-9 on
a windy Tuesday night.

Kenny Lofton reached base five times, going 3-for-3 with a
homer, three runs scored and three RBIs. Catalanotto went 3-for-5
with four RBIs, and Ian Kinsler also homered for the Rangers, who
reached .500 (4-4) for the first time this season.

The Rangers scored a total of nine runs in their first four
contests, but have put up eight or more in three of their last four

"We took advantage of the opportunities we had with their
pitchers struggling," Washington said. "We put runs on the board
and we needed every run we got. ... I guess this is the way they do
it in Texas."

Lofton and Catalanotto provided the spark at the top of the
order. Entering the game, they had combined to start the season at
5-for-44, but they broke out of their slumps together.

"Kenny and I feel that we need to get going to jump start this
offense," Catalanotto said. "We hadn't been doing that. If we
start getting on base, those guys will drive us in."

Scott Feldman (1-0) threw 2 1/3 innings of two-hit shutout
relief for his first major league victory.

Devil Rays starter Jae Seo (0-1) gave up 10 runs -- five earned --
and eight hits in three innings.

Ty Wigginton had four RBIs including a three-run homer for the
Devil Rays, who lost their fourth in a row. Delmon Young hit a
two-run homer in the ninth inning, his second of the year.

"It's still early, but it doesn't look good now," Tampa Bay's
Carl Crawford said. "Hopefully it will change in the future. It
was sloppy, a lot of things were happening, and then all of a
sudden we were losing by a lot of runs."

Lofton, who began the night with a .115 average, led off the
first with a homer for the 29th time in his career, aided by an 18
mph wind blowing out to right. Texas made it 3-0 in the second on
Kinsler's two-run shot.

"It was a West Texas kind of game. It could have been Midland
vs. Tulsa," said Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon, who managed
Midland of the Texas League for two seasons in the mid-'80s. "Fly
balls were flying out. It's a different kind of baseball when the
wind kicks up like that."

The Devil Rays knocked around Texas starter Jamey Wright, in his
Rangers debut, for five runs and five hits over 2 2/3 innings.

Wright gave up only a leadoff walk in the first two innings, but
the Devil Rays came back with a five-run third capped by
Wigginton's three-run blast.

Dioner Navarro added an RBI double and B.J. Upton a run-scoring
triple in the third.

After Young followed Wigginton's homer with a two-out single,
Washington brought in Feldman, who retired Akinori Iwamura on a
groundout to end the inning.

The 32-year-old Wright was a non-roster invitee to spring
training after compiling a 6-10 record and 5.19 ERA in 34 games for
the San Francisco Giants last season. Wright had a solid spring
training for the Rangers to win the job as the No. 5 starter, but
flopped in his first outing of the season.

"I got in a groove those first couple of innings," Wright
said. "Then I gave up three extra base hits in four pitches. I
kept throwing fastballs right in the zone and they hit it."

Brad Wilkerson's two-run single in the third tied the score at 5
to get Wright off the hook.

Gerald Laird followed with a fly ball that was dropped for an
error by Young, and two batters later, Lofton's two-run single put
Texas in front 7-5.

Catalanotto's three-run shot extended the lead to 10-5.

"When we put five up there, we should have been able to put up
a zero," Maddon said. "But it was a tough night to pitch. Our
offense was good but our defense made a couple of mistakes and
you've got to pitch to win."

Game notes
To make room for Wright, the Rangers optioned RHP Mike Wood
to Triple-A Oklahoma and designated LHP Daniel Haigwood for
assignment. ...Rangers C Gerald Laird threw out Crawford attempting
to steal second twice in the first three innings. Crawford had
never been caught stealing twice in a game. ...A total of 75
pitches were thrown in the third.