C.J. Wilson carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and Ian Kinsler belted a pair of home runs as the Texas Rangers recorded a 7-2 home victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday.
Michael Young homered and Yorvit Torrealba drove in two runs for the American League-West leading Rangers, who remained 3 1/2 games ahead of Los Angeles. The Angels posted a 4-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Thursday.
Wilson (14-6) flirted with throwing Texas’ first no-hitter since Kenny Rogers’ perfect game in 1994. Rangers president Nolan Ryan threw seven no-hitters, but never a perfect game.
Kelly Shoppach homered for the Rays, who were no-hit twice last season and didn’t have a baserunner until Casey Kotchman led off the sixth with an infield single.
The Rangers’ faithful gave Wilson a standing ovation after Kotchman’s comebacker deflected off his pitching hand for an infield hit. The lefthander then threw a few practice tosses before remaining in the game. He allowed two runs and two hits in six-plus innings with eight strikeouts and one walk.
Texas scored three runs off Jeff Niemann (9-6) in the second, and solo homers from Kinsler and Young in the fifth made it 5-0. Kinsler added a solo shot – his 23rd homer of the season – in the seventh.