- Associated Press - Friday, August 15, 2014

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Jake Odorizzi wasn’t shaken by the only run-scoring hit he gave up to the Texas Rangers.

The young right-hander had quite the answer and helped keep an impressive road pitching streak going for the Tampa Bay Rays.

Odorizzi retired the final 10 hitters after allowing a home run, Evan Longoria homered and drove in three runs and the Rays beat the Texas Rangers 6-3 Thursday night.

“The guy’s confident,” manager Joe Maddon said of his 24-year-old pitcher. “He’s swaggering out to the mound, and swaggering back in. The whole group is confident. They’re not braggish about it, just businesslike in a confident way.”

And they have the numbers to back it up, with Odorizzi striking out seven in seven innings to help give the Rays their AL-record 18th consecutive road game without allowing more than three runs.

Odorizzi (9-9) was the starter the last time Tampa Bay gave up more than three runs - the last home game before the 10-game trip that just ended with the Rays taking three of four from the Rangers. He gave up five runs in a 7-5 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 3.

Following up six shutout innings in a win at the Chicago Cubs, Odorizzi didn’t allow another baserunner after Geovany Soto’s first homer of the season to pull the Rangers within 4-2.

“I’ve been growing a lot since the first part of the season,” Odorizzi said. “I found out a lot about myself.”

Jake McGee pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 14 chances, getting the Rays within three games of the major league record for consecutive road games with three runs or fewer allowed held by the 1908 Cubs.

Robbie Ross (2-5) came up from Triple-A Round Rock to fill in for Texas ace Yu Darvish, who is sidelined with elbow inflammation. The left-hander gave up six runs in 4 1-3 innings.

Ross started the season in the Texas rotation after spending two years as a reliever. He struck out the side in the first but then looked a lot like the pitcher who was sent back to the bullpen in May not long after giving up 30 runs - 23 earned - in 26 2-3 innings over five starts.

“I just started maybe being a little too fine and trying to pick around the zone instead of just going right at them like I was in the beginning,” Ross said.

THE TWO-RUN BLOWS

Longoria’s team-leading 15th homer was a two-run shot that gave the Rays a 6-2 lead in the fifth. Logan Forsythe matched a career high with three hits and put the Rays in front to stay with his two-run homer in the second. It came on an 0-2 pitch after Yunel Escobar reached with two outs on an infield hit when third baseman Adrian Beltre barehanded the slow roller but threw wide to first.

EFFICIENT RAYS

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