By MARK DIDTLER
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Christian Bethancourt and Jose Siri hit back-to-back homers over a three-pitch stretch in the second inning, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 5-3 on Sunday.
Bethancourt had three hits, and Siri went 2 for 3 with a walk. Jonathan Aranda, Manuel Margot and Taylor Walls each drove in a run.
Tampa Bay (82-64) secured its fifth straight winning season. It is right in the mix for one of the AL’s three wild cards.
Rays left-hander Jeffrey Springs (9-4) pitched 5 2/3 innings of three-run ball. He did not allow a run in his previous three starts, totaling 14 2/3 innings.
Pete Fairbanks, the fourth Rays reliever, worked the ninth for his eighth save in eight chances.
Josh Jung and Corey Seager homered for the Rangers, who have lost 16 of 21. Glenn Otto (6-9) allowed four runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The Rangers had six hits and struck out 13 times.
The Rays opened a 4-1 lead with two runs in the third. Aranda hit an RBI double and scored on Margot’s single.
Texas responded with two runs in the sixth. Seager hit a leadoff drive for his 31st homer in his first season with the Rangers.
Springs caught Adolis García too far off first with two outs, but he advanced to third when second baseman Aranda was charged with an error for not handling a throw from first baseman Harold Ramirez.
Jung followed with an RBI single.
The Rays loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth and went up 5-3 when Walls drew a walk against Brock Burke on a 3-2 pitch.
TAKING THE MOUND
Rays play-by-play announcer Dewayne Staats will throw a ceremonial first pitch before Monday night’s game against Houston in honor of broadcasting his 7,000th major league game. He started with the Astros in 1977.
Rangers: OF Nick Solak (small right foot fracture), hit by a pitch Wednesday, will miss the rest of the season. … RHP Joe Barlow (right index finger blister) will make his second appearance Tuesday or Wednesday with Triple-A Round Rock. … RHP Spencer Howard (right shoulder impingement) is set to make his third start Friday with Round Rock.
Rays: RHP Tyler Glasnow (Tommy John surgery) struck out four over two perfect innings in his third start with Triple-A Durham. … Reliever Nick Anderson (right elbow surgery and plantar fasciitis), who has struggled in the minors this season, has opted to end his season. … INF Wander Franco took an awkward step on an infield hit in the sixth but remained in the game.
Rangers: LHP Cole Ragans (0-2) will be looking for his first big league win in his seventh career start Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Angels.
Rays: RHP Drew Rasmussen (10-5) will start Monday night against AL-leading Houston.
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