By Anthony Andro, The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — The Tampa Bay Rays are finding different ways to win games.
On Sunday, the Rays needed 15 innings to beat the Minnesota Twins in a contest that lasted more than six hours.
On Monday, the Rays didn’t have to go extras, but they did have to come back to move two games over .500 for the first time since April 10.
Tim Beckham’s three-run homer capped a five-run seventh inning as the Rays rallied for a 10-8 victory over the Texas Rangers.
Tampa Bay trailed 7-5 before scoring five off the Texas bullpen in the seventh.
Pinch hitter Colby Rasmus tied the game at 7 with a two-run double off Tony Barnette (1-1). Barnette then intentionally walked Kevin Kiermaier to get to Beckham, who drilled his eighth homer of the season to left-center.
Beckham said he was fired up by the intentional walk and wanted to keep the momentum going for the Rays.
“We’ve got a really good club here and a lot of athletic ability, and it just shows how resilient we are to come off a six-hour game and come back and battle,” said Beckham, who was has 18 RBIs in May. “It’s impressive, man, it’s two of the most impressive games I’ve been a part of.”
Right-hander Jose De Leon (1-0), who was called up from Triple-A Durham earlier in the day, allowed three runs in 2 2/3 innings yet still picked up the win in his first appearance for the Rays.
Alex Colome, the sixth Tampa Bay pitcher, struck out the side in the ninth for his 14th save.
Tampa Bay was forced to play catch-up throughout the game. The Rangers jumped to a 3-1 lead in the first inning off Erasmo Ramirez and led 5-3 after four frames.
Evan Longoria, who had RBI grounders in the first and third innings, tied the game at 5 with a two-run homer to center off Texas starter Martin Perez in the fifth inning.
Texas got the lead back in the sixth on a two-run single by Shin-Soo Choo, but the Texas bullpen couldn’t hold the lead. Jeremy Jeffress allowed a double to open the seventh, and then Alex Claudio hit Corey Dickerson with a pitch. That set the stage for Rasmus to tie the game off Barnette, who allowed three runs in 1 1/3 innings.
“All I know is I let my team down tonight,” said Barnette, who has a 6.10 ERA. “They put us in a spot to win, and I let it snowball from there. That’s all there is to it.”
The Rangers have struggled to get the ball to closer Matt Bush, as they are just 17-9 in games they led after six innings. Monday night was no exception.
“Yeah, again the seventh inning has been something that we’d like to forget all year long,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ve got to find a way to get through that seventh inning and record some outs and continue to shut down the innings and get us in a situation where we have a lead so we can get it to the two guys at the back end that have been successful.”
Steven Souza Jr. went 4-for-5 for the Rays and scored four times, leading a 13-hit charge.
“We’ve been doing it all year,” Longoria said of the offense. “We’ve had our games where we’ve been quiet. But I like the way our offense is playing. The confidence is there even when we’re down in games. It’s nice to see the belief in the dugout that even if you’re down a couple late you can get something going.”
Nomar Mazara had three hits for the Rangers, including a two-run double in the first. Joey Gallo hit a solo homer, his 16th long ball of the season, and also doubled and scored for Texas.
Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, who had been on the disabled list all season with a right calf strain, had one hit in his 2017 debut.