The Texas Rangers won't be playing in the postseason, but can make an impact on the race and get back to .500 when they host the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday for the rubber match of a three-game series. Rougned Odor belted a go-ahead three-run homer as the Rangers won a wild 10-9 decision Wednesday for their fifth victory in their last six contests.
Odor is 10-for-26 with four homers and eight RBIs over his last seven games while teammate Nick Solak, a former Tampa Bay farmhand, is 8-for-16 with six RBIs and five runs scored in his last four outings for Texas (73-74), which has already won six more contests than last year. The Rangers will send Kolby Allard to the mound for the series finale in a battle of former first-round picks against fellow rookie lefty Brendan McKay, who allowed one hit and struck out three in six scoreless innings to beat Texas in his major league debut June 29. The Rays lost for the second time in 13 games Wednesday and saw their lead for the top wild card in the American League shrink to one-half game over Oakland while Cleveland is one back. Austin Meadows had a single Wednesday to extend his hitting streak to 10 games (17-for-36, five homers, 11 RBIs) and fellow outfielder Tommy Pham doubled home a run to hit safely for the ninth straight contest (14-for-35).
TV: 8:05 p.m. ET, FS Sun (Tampa Bay), FS Southwest (Texas)
McKay was outstanding in his first game back with the Rays in more than two weeks after suffering shoulder fatigue, limiting Toronto to one hit over 3 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts Friday. The 23-year-old Louisville product had given up 11 runs (seven earned) on eight hits with nine walks over six innings in his previous two outings. Danny Santana had the only hit in the first meeting against McKay, who is 1-0 with a 4.40 ERA in three starts on the road this year.
Allard has pitched well in five of his six starts since coming over from Atlanta in a deal for reliever Chris Martin before the trade deadline. The 22-year-old California native permitted one run while working around eight hits and two walks across 6 1/3 innings to earn the victory at Baltimore last Thursday. Allard faces Tampa Bay for the first time in his career and is 1-0 with a 6.75 ERA in his two starts at Globe Life Park this season.
1. Tampa Bay CF Kevin Kiermaier (neck) and OF Avisail Garcia (hip) are day-to-day after missing Wednesday's contest.
2. Texas SS Elvis Andrus had two hits Wednesday and is batting .317 in his career against Tampa Bay.
3. The Rays recalled OF Johnny Davis and placed LHP Hoby Milner (cervical nerve injury) on the 60-day injured list.