- Associated Press - Saturday, April 5, 2014

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Nick Martinez saw his chance to win his major league debut slip away late in the game.

Martinez allowed three runs and four hits over six innings in the Texas Rangers 5-4 loss Saturday night to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Nick gave us a chance,” Texas manager Ron Washington said. “He was getting ahead of hitters. He changed speeds. He made a couple mistakes that did get out of the ballpark, but when he left the ballgame he still gave us the lead.”

Martinez ended up with a no-decision.

James Loney hit a go-ahead, two-run double in the eighth inning off Neal Cotts (0-1) that put Tampa Bay ahead 5-4. His opposite-field drive that went over left fielder Shin-Soo Choo came after Evan Longoria was intentionally walked to put the potential tying and go-ahead runs on base.

“I was actually (surprised),” Loney said of the walk to Longoria. “They had a one-run lead, but people like to do that now.”

Brandon Gomes (1-0) pitched a perfect eighth before Grant Balfour got the final three outs for his first save.

Yunel Escobar and Matt Joyce homered off Martinez.

“I need to learn to limit my mistakes,” Martinez said. “I made a couple mistakes I wish I could have back, but just kept learning as I went along.”

David Price, who was sick Friday and almost didn’t pitch, gave up four runs and nine hits in six innings for the Rays.

“Feel better since we won,” Price said.

Alex Rios put the Rangers up 2-0 with a two-out, two-run double in the first off Price. Rios has 12 hits in 30 at-bats with 10 RBIs against the Rays left-hander.

Elvis Andrus made it 3-0 on a second-inning RBI single before Escobar pulled Tampa Bay within two on a solo homer in third.

It was announced before the game that Escobar and the Rays had agreed to a two-year extension for 2015 and 2016 worth a guaranteed $13 million. There is a 2017 club option.

After Choo had a sacrifice fly in the fourth, Joyce cut the Rays deficit to 4-3 with a two-run homer in the bottom half.

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