ARLINGTON (AP) – Matt Harrison didn’t sugarcoat his performance Wednesday night against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I didn’t give us a chance,” Harrison said. “It was just a bad night.”
Evan Longoria homered twice, Tampa Bay roughed up Harrison and the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 8-4 to snap a four-game losing streak.
Harrison (15-8) allowed seven runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings. The All-Star was coming off one of the best performances of his career, but he struggled for the second time this season against the Rays.
“He just made a couple of mistakes,” Texas’ Michael Young said. “He’s been a horse for us all year long and we expect that continue.”
The Rays lost the first two games of the series by one run before breaking through with 16 hits to avoid a three-game sweep.
They have scored 14 runs with 26 hits in two starts against Harrison, who was looking to tie for the league lead in wins.
“Our hitters have a decent history against him,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said. “I think it’s one of those things where our guys see him pretty well. And perhaps he doesn’t see them that well.”
Josh Hamilton hit his 36th home run for Texas, a solo shot that brought Texas within 6-4 in the fifth.
The Rangers wrapped up a 10-game homestand with a 7-3 record. They have a 4 1-2 game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
Texas finished a 20-game in 20-day stretch Wednesday night with a 12-8 record.
“We weren’t dreading it all,” Young said. “We considered it a challenge and looked it as a chance to get better.”
Longoria hit a two-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the ninth. B.J. Upton hit a three-run shot in the second and Elliot Johnson added a solo blast in the sixth.
Jeff Keppinger went 4 for 5 and Ben Zobrist had three hits for the Rays.
Jake McGee (5-2) pitched a perfect sixth and five Tampa Bay relievers combined for 4 1/3 scoreless innings.
Since July 19, the Rays bullpen has posted a 0.76 ERA in 106 innings.
“When the starters leave the game, they have people that can shut you down,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
Harrison gave up seven runs and a career-high 14 hits in an 8-4 loss to the Rays on April 27. The left-hander struggled again against Tampa Bay on Wednesday night, giving up six runs and a pair of home runs by the second inning.
He took a no-hitter into the seventh and permitted two hits in eight shutout innings in his last outing Friday night against Minnesota.
Zobrist’s RBI double in the first snapped a 13-inning scoreless drought.
Longoria drove a 3-1 fastball from Harrison 409 feet to center. The two-run shot extended Tampa Bay’s lead to 3-0. Longoria is 6 for 9 with three home runs against Harrison in the regular season.
“You throw it over the plate and he’s not going to miss it,” Harrison said.
In the second inning, Sam Fuld tripled with one out and Desmond Jennings walked to set the stage for Upton.
After Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux visited Harrison, Upton lined a fastball into the seats in left for his 16th home run of the season.
Johnson led off the sixth with a home run and Harrison was chased out of the game two batters later.
It was the first time Harrison allowed three home runs in a game since April 21, 2010 against Boston.
Texas’ Mitch Moreland hit a two-run homer in the second, his 15th of the season. Nelson Cruz’s RBI groundout got the Rangers to within 6-3.
Hamilton’s 424-foot shot landed in the upper deck in right and gave him 112 RBIs, which leads the majors.
Rays starter Alex Cobb allowed eight hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings.
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