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August 27, 2012

Wrapping up Rangers' 6-5 victory over Rays

Derek Holland said he owed the bullpen a few drinks after Monday night. And Adrian Beltre.

Or, as he eventually said, "Let's just take the whole team, why not?"

Holland gave up two leads early in the game, but didn't let a third one slip away in a 6-5 victory. After the Rangers had taken a 6-5 lead in the fifth, Holland had a 1-2-3 sixth. That paved the way for the Rangers' bullpen to shut it down in impressive fashion.

Alexi Ogando struck out the first two batters of a perfect seventh. Mike Adams struck out the first two batters of a perfect eighth. And Joe Nathan struck out the first two batters of a perfect ninth.

Michael Young said the Rangers feel as though they have three closers on the team.

The bullpen has posted a 0.90 ERA over the last 17 games, and the Rangers are 65-1 when leading after the seventh inning.

Here are some more postgame notes:

* Texas is 24 games over .500 at 76-52. It also maintained a 5 1/2-game lead in the American League West over Oakland, which beat Cleveland.

* Adrian Beltre fell a triple shy of the cycle. He had a solo homer in the second, a two-run double in the third and a single in the fifth. Beltre thought about the possibility of completing the cycle for the second time in four days, but said this of his final at-bat: "When I was at home plate, I totally forgot about it. Totally forgot about it. It wouldn't have worked out anyways because I didn't get a good pitch to hit. I wasn't aware of it that particular at bat." Beltre drew a walk in that at-bat, his final of the game.

* Nelson Cruz followed Beltre's homer with a solo shot of his own in the second. It's the seventh time the Rangers have had consecutive homers this season. Notably, it's the first time Rays starter David Price has ever allowed consecutive home runs in his career.

* Derek Holland won consecutive starts for the first time since April. He had a quality start, allowing five runs (three earned) on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts over six innings.

* Joe Nathan converted his 24th straight save chance, extending his club record. It's the longest active save streak in the majors, and is tied for the longest in the big leagues this season with Cleveland's Chris Perez.

-- Drew Davison

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