ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Shane McClanahan is making a serious case to be the American League starter again in next month's All-Star Game.
McClanahan became the first 10-game winner in the major leagues and the Tampa Bay Rays beat the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Sunday, taking two of three games in a match up of the teams with best records in baseball.
McClanahan (10-1) allowed three runs, all in the third inning, and four hits over seven innings. The 26-year-old left-hander retired his final 15 batters. He won a career-best 12 games in 28 starts last season.
“It's one of those things where, it's the farthest thing from my mind right now,” McClanahan said of possibly starting for AL in the mid-summer classic in a second consecutive season. “We're a good ballclub. My only thought right now is to help this team to continue to win ballgames.”
McClanahan is 5-0 with a 1.67 ERA in seven starts at home, all won by the Rays. His overall ERA is 2.18.
“Another really strong performance," Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash said. “Mac competed really well today, and made some big pitches.”
Wander Franco homered for MLB-leading Tampa Bay (48-20), which improved to 31-7 at home. It's the best home start since the 1998 World Series champion New York Yankees went 32-6.
After Colin Poche worked a perfect eighth. Jason Adam walked Adolis Garcia and gave up a double to Josh Jung with one out before walking Jonah Heim to load the bases. The right-hander then got a game-clinching double-play grounder from Ezequiel Duran.
"A hard fought series,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “You saw two good teams going at it. Two teams that put up runs, have good pitching. We’re disappointed we lost the series, but I thought we played well.”
Robbie Grossman homered for the AL West-leading Rangers (41-23), who have lost three of four.
Franco connected for his first homer since May 9, a three-run drive off Martín Pérez (6-2), in the fourth that put the Rays ahead 7-3.
Pérez lasted a season-low 3 1/3 innings, allowing a season high-tying seven runs and 10 hits. The lefty's ERA jumped from 3.97 to 4.67 as his five-game winning streak ended.
Randy Arozarena had an RBI single and Isaac Paredes added a run-scoring grounder as the Rays took a 2-0 lead in the first. Arozarena's base hit was the last of four straight singles to start the inning.
Taylor Walls, mired in a 5-for-57 slide, had a run-scoring double and scored on a single by Harold Ramírez as Tampa Bay went up 4-0 in the second.
Grossman homered leading off a three-run third. Marcus Semien had an RBI single and Corey Seager drove in a run with single.
Seager's single was Texas' last hit off McClanahan. He had five hits and four RBIs in Saturday's 8-4 win.
Grossman has 27 RBIs in his last 38 games.
Pérez (9.74) entered with the highest run support per nine innings in the majors. while McClanahan (7.26) was fourth. Texas leads the majors in runs scored with 400, while the Rays are next at 391.
Jose Siri was thrown out trying to steal second in the fifth to end Tampa Bay's team-best stretch of consecutive successful stolen base attempts at 35.
Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning (5-1) and Los Angeles Angels LHP Tyler Anderson (3-1) are Monday starters.
Rays: RHP Zach Eflin (8-1) will face Oakland RHP James Kaprielian (1-6) on Monday. Tampa Bay swept the Athletics in an April three-game series, outscoring them 31-5. The last two games were 11-0 wins by the Rays.
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