(SportsNetwork.com) - The Texas Rangers go after a fifth straight win on Friday when they continue their four-game series with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.
Texas continued to roll in last night's opener, as Elvis Andrus knocked in two runs as part of a four-run second inning and the Rangers held on for a 5-4 win.
"A veteran hitter," Rangers manager Jeff Bannister said of Andrus' hit. "He kept battling and got one for us tonight."
Shin-Soo Choo, Prince Fielder and Delino DeShields each had an RBI for the Rangers, who came into this series on the heels of a three-game sweep over the red-hot Houston Astros.
Alex Claudio (1-0) relieved start Nick Martinez in the fifth and recorded the win for his 1 1/3 innings of scoreless work. Martinez allowed three runs on six hits in 4 2/3 frames.
Kevin Kiermaier homered and drove in two runs for the Rays, while Tim Beckham and Jake Elmore supplied an RBI apiece in the loss.
Rays starter Chris Archer (3-4) lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up five runs on four hits and four walks. Archer's control issues proved costly in the second inning.
"Obviously maybe not our best performance," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "(Archer) just scuffled to find the zone, and fell behind some guys."
Tampa was without slugger Evan Longoria, who missed Thursday's game with flu- like symptoms, ending an MLB-best streak of 270 consecutive games played.
Texas will try to stay in the win column on Friday behind right-hander Yovani Gallardo, who has lost three straight starts. Gallardo's most recent setback came on Sunday against Oakland, as he allowed four runs (3 earned) and seven hits in 6 2/3 innings to fall to 2-4 on the year to go along with a 4.05 ERA.
Gallardo beat the Rays the only other time he faced them.
Tampa, meanwhile, will turn to rookie Nathan Karns, who is 1-1 with a 4.05 ERA. Karns did not get a decision in Baltimore on Sunday, but pitched well, as he scattered a pair of hits over five scoreless innings in his team's 4-2 loss.
Karns has never faced the Rangers.
Tampa took five of seven from the Rangers in 2014.