Arlington, TX – Fresh off being named American League Player of the Week, Adrian Beltre continued his hot hitting by going 3-for-3 with a homer and four RBI, as the Texas Rangers edged the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-5, to open a three-game series.
Beltre singled in the tie-breaking run in the fifth inning off David Price and the AL West leaders received six frames from Derek Holland to win for the eighth time in 10 contests.
Holland (9-6) allowed six hits and five runs -- three earned -- and fanned five to remain unbeaten over his last five starts.
Price (16-5), who had allowed a total of two runs over his four previous starts and entered with an 8-0 mark over his past 12 starts, gave up 10 hits and six runs over four-plus innings.
"You might only get one pitch to hit in the at-bat, and that's the approach we took today," Beltre said. "We came in aggressive."
It's the most runs Price has given up since he allowed a season-high seven to the New York Mets in a 9-1 loss on June 13, his last defeat.
Evan Longoria blasted a two-run homer and B.J. Upton contributed two RBI, but the playoff-contending Rays lost their third in a row. They remained four games behind the first-place New York Yankees in the AL East.
"This thing is going to ebb and flow the rest of the season, there's no question it's going to come down to the nubs," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Our goal is to still win the division, not just get in as a wild card."
Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan each fanned a pair of batters over the final three scoreless frames. Nathan notched his 26th save of the year, including his 24th in a row to extend a Rangers record.
The Rays got an RBI triple from Upton and a run-scoring base hit from Ben Zobrist in the fifth inning, but the Rangers retired the final 15 Tampa Bay hitters.
In the bottom of the fifth, Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton singled to right field, and Beltre followed with his go-ahead hit, a soft liner to left field.
Longoria homered with Zobrist aboard in the first inning, but Beltre and Nelson Cruz went deep to start the second. Michael Young scored on Mike Olt's groundout later in the frame.
The Rays tied the game on Upton's sacrifice fly in the third following a triple from Desmond Jennings, but Beltre stroked a double to right field to plate Andrus and Hamilton in the bottom half for a 5-3 contest.
Price is 1-4 in eight career starts against Texas ... Beltre has six homers and 13 RBI over his last six games. He has 25 homers this season ... The Rangers have won 10 of their last 13 home games.