ARLINGTON -- C.J. Wilson knew he had something special going on, and things were certainly working in his favor.
Josh Hamilton made a diving catch on a B.J. Upton line drive in the second. After Hamilton's catch, Elvis Andrus made a nice play on a chopper up the middle.
Wilson opened the game with five perfect innings, and seemed to be in control. But Casey Kotchman opened the sixth inning with an infield single that glanced off Wilson's left index finger.
After that shot to the finger, Wilson's night started to unravel. He lost a feel for the ball, and left after facing two batters in the sixth. Still, behind Wilson's performance, the Texas Rangers went on to a 7-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night at Rangers Ballpark, wrapping up a .500 homestand.
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"If you get through the third inning without giving up any hits, you are pretty aware of it most of the time," Wilson said. "But for me, I was trying to focus on hitting the glove every time. A couple of times I got mad at myself because I realized that I was overthrowing or trying to do too much because of the situation."
Wilson finished the game allowing two runs on two hits with one walk, a hit batter and eight strikeouts.
Wilson said his finger is OK and won't cause him to miss his next start, but it clearly dampened his night. He compared it to driving with one eye, losing depth perception.
But Wilson stayed in the game, inducing a double play grounder by Justin Ruggiano. Wilson gave up his lone run of the night the following at-bat, as Kelly Shoppach belted a 1-2 slider over the left-field fence.
Wilson faced two batters in the seventh, hitting one and walking the other, before being relieved by Koji Uehara.
"It was the best pitching I had done all year in terms of sequences," said Wilson, who earned his 14th victory. "I was going out there trying to throw nine tonight -- that was my goal. I just didn't have enough luck on my side in the end."
Uehara, who had allowed runs in four of his last five outings, struck out the two batters he faced. But Darren Oliver gave up an RBI single to pinch-hitter Matt Joyce, a run that was charged to Wilson.
By that point, though, the Rangers had a comfortable lead.
Texas had little trouble against Rays starter Jeff Niemann, who entered the game 8-1 with a 2.57 ERA in his last 12 starts.
Texas batted around in the second inning with recently activated Adrian Beltre starting it with a one-out single to right. David Murphy, Yorvit Torrealba and Endy Chavez followed with RBI hits for a 3-0 lead.
The Rangers extended their lead to 5-0 in the fifth on home runs by Ian Kinsler and Michael Young.
Kinsler went deep again in the seventh off Rays reliever Brandon Gomes, his fourth multi-homer game.
"I'm trying to have good at-bats, trying to finish strong and help this team as much as possible," Kinsler said. "Tonight I was able to run into a couple."
Beltre almost ran into one in the eighth, but Rays outfielder Joyce made a leaping catch on the ball that would have cleared the right-field wall.
But the Rangers retired Joyce to end the game in the ninth on a nifty, barehanded stop by Kinsler.
Drew Davison, 817-390-7760