St. Petersburg, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Nathan Karns' numbers at Tropicana Field haven't been great to start the year, but he made an effort to improve those statistics on Friday night.
Karns allowed two runs on four hits and two walks in seven-plus innings and struck out a career-best nine to lead the Tampa Bay Rays in a 8-2 win over the Texas Rangers.
Karns (2-1) entered Friday with a 7.02 ERA -- 13 runs allowed -- in 16 2/3 innings this season at the Trop.
Brandon Guyer opened the game up with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the sixth, and David DeJesus also homered in the win.
Yovani Gallardo (2-5) lost a fourth straight start after he was charged with four runs -- three earned -- over 5 1/3 innings.
Adam Rosales hit a homer for the Rangers, who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
DeJesus homered with one gone in the second inning to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Hits were hard to come by over the next few innings for both teams.
Karns kept the Rangers off the board and did not face many stressful situations in his outing. He allowed a pair of two-out singles over the first five innings and needed just seven pitches to complete a clean sixth.
Tampa Bay gave Karns a little breathing room with a four-run sixth. Elvis Andrus committed a fielding error on Kevin Kiermaier's leadoff at-bat, then James Loney singled two batters later before Evan Longoria grounded a base hit through the right side for a 2-0 lead.
Alex Claudio relieved Gallardo and Guyer, pinch-hitting for DeJesus, blasted a hanging sinker on the first pitch he saw over the wall in left center to make it 5-0.
Rosales homered to lead off the eighth and Delino DeShields Jr. singled in the next at-bat to chase Karns from the contest.
Texas loaded the bases against Xavier Cedeno, but it managed to knock in only one run on an Adrian Beltre sacrifice fly to center. Kevin Jepsen worked out of the jam by striking out Carlos Peguero.
Tim Beckham and Jake Elmore each picked up an RBI during three-run eighth inning for the Rays.
While with Milwaukee, Gallardo tossed seven scoreless frames in a win at Tampa Bay on July 30, 2014, his only other appearance against the Rays ... Tampa Bay outhit Texas 9-6.