Texas Rangers starting pitcher Martin Perez waits for a new ball as Tampa Bay Rays' Logan Forsythe runs around the bases following a his three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Phot
Chris O'Meara
August 21, 2016

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) The AL West-leading Texas Rangers stumbled again on the road against Tampa Bay.

Logan Forsythe homered after missing four games due to back spasms, and the Rays took two of three from the Rangers with an 8-4 victory on Sunday.

Forsythe hit an opposite-field, three-run shot off Martin Perez (8-9) during a five-run fourth that made it 6-2. He has six homers in his last 10 games.

''It's a challenge to recover from a five-run inning,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''Martin today, kind of the old nemesis, that one inning is a big inning.''

Drew Smyly (6-11) allowed four runs and five hits over 6 2/3 innings to go 4-0 in his last six starts.

''Texas has been in first place all year,'' Smyly said. ''They've got a very good lineup, great pitching and we beat them two out of three.''

Tampa Bay, last in the AL East, has won six of seven while outscoring opponents 55-18 during the stretch.

''I think we're getting big hits, having more quality at bats with guys in scoring position,'' Forsythe said.

Delino DeShields hit a two-run homer in the third inning and Drew Stubbs had a solo drive in the fifth for the Rangers, who have lost nine (1-9-2) of their last 12 regular-season road series against the Rays. Texas beat Tampa Bay in the 2010 and 2011 ALDS, going a combined 5-0 at Tropicana Field.

Perez, 1-8 on the road this season, gave up six runs, five hits and three walks over six innings.

''They scored some runs but I feel (physically) good,'' Perez said. ''That's part of the game. Just trying to do my best.''

Steven Souza Jr. put the Rays up 8-4 on a two-run homer in the eighth.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Tanner Scheppers (left knee) threw an inning Saturday night for Double-A Frisco.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (left hip tightness) didn't start for the second straight game but entered as a defensive replacement in the eighth. ... RHP Alex Cobb (Tommy John surgery), nearing the end of a rehab assignment, starts for Triple-A Durham on Monday night.

GOMEZ GOING FORWARD

Banister said Carlos Gomez, signed to a minor league contract Saturday, will primarily start in left field. ''This guy can take over a game,'' Banister said. The move allows Jurickson Profar to move into a utility role. It has not been determined if the Gomez will join the team from Triple-A Round Rock during a series at Cincinnati that starts Tuesday night.

NUMBER GAME

Rays OF Mikie Mahtook is hitless in 29 at-bats after going 0 for 3. . Souza has homered twice in nine at-bats after hitting one in 158 at-bats. . The Rangers have homered in nine straight games against the Rays. . Texas last won a regular-season series at Tampa Bay May 30-June 1, 2011.

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Derek Holland (5-5) is scheduled to make his first start since going on the disabled list June 22 with left shoulder inflammation Tuesday against Reds RHP Dan Straily (9-6).

Rays: Rookie LHP Blake Snell (4-5) faces Boston and one-time Tampa Bay ace David Price (11-8) Monday night.

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