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Rangers score 4 early, including Lowe HR, hold off Rays 4-3

ST. PETERSBURG, Florida (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe hit his 25th home run in a four-run inning Friday night and the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3.

Lowe’s two-run homer was the fourth of five straight hits in the third inning off Corey Kluber, who gave up seven straight hits in the first inning in New York nearly a week earlier.

Rangers starter Martin Perez (12-6) gave up three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings. Three of those were by Rays catcher Francisco Mejia, driving in runs with a single in the second and a double in the sixth.

Jose Leclerq pitched the ninth for his sixth save in seven attempts, retiring Harold Ramirez on a bases-loaded grounder to end the game.

The Rays, who opened a 10-game homestand, left at least one runner on base in every inning except the eighth, losing for the sixth time in eight games.

Kluber (10-9) gave up four runs on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, striking out six.

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Jon Gray (7-6, 3.79) will be making his second start for the Rangers since his return from the injured list with a left oblique strain.