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Rangers fend off Rays, win fourth straight

May 8, 2015 - 2:21 AM St. Petersburg, FL ( - Elvis Andrus knocked in two runs as part of a four-run second inning and the Texas Rangers held off the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-4, to earn their fourth straight win.

Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder and Delino DeShields each had an RBI for the Rangers, who are coming off a three-game sweep at Houston.

Alex Claudio (1-0) relieved start Nick Martinez in the fifth and recorded the win for his 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work. Martinez allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 frames.

Kevin Kiermaier homered and drove in two runs for the Rays, while Tim Beckham and Jake Elmore supplied an RBI apiece in the loss.

Rays starter Chris Archer (3-4) lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on four hits and four walks. Archer's control issues proved costly in the second inning.

Kyle Blanks and Carlos Peguero singled with one down ahead of Robinson Chirinos' strikeout. Archer then managed to get Rougned Odor swinging, but the ball bounced away from catcher Bobby Wilson for a wild pitch, and the bases suddenly loaded up.

DeShields and Choo followed with consecutive walks that ushered in two runs before Andrus drove in Odor and DeShields with a single for a 4-0 lead. Archer made his way through the debacle by inducing a flyout of Fielder.

"A veteran hitter," Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said of Andrus' hit. "He kept battling and got one for us tonight."

DeShields led off the fourth with a walk and Archer's day came to a close on his 92nd pitch, a 3-2 fastball that struck out Choo. Erasmo Ramirez entered on the hill for Tampa Bay, got a groundout of Andrus and allowed a single to Fielder that made it 5-0.

"Obviously maybe not our best performance," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "(Archer) just scuffled to find the zone, and fell behind some guys."

Martinez ran into trouble in the fifth when David DeJesus singled and Joey Butler doubled to lead off the inning. Beckham's groundout plated DeJesus, Elmore's base hit scored Butler and Kiermaier followed Wilson's single with an RBI groundout that trimmed the margin to 5-3. Martinez was removed when Steven Souza Jr. walked, and Claudio ended the inning with a groundout of James Loney.

Kiermaier opened the home eighth with a home run off Shawn Tolleson.

Neftali Feliz closed it out in the ninth for his fourth save of the season.

Game Notes

Martinez had gone at least six innings in each of his five starts to begin the season ... DeShields stole three bases ... Each team had seven hits.