The Rangers returned to Arlington on May 30 – following a 10-game road trip in which Texas was 5-5 —  with a 9-5 thrashing of the Rays. Josh Smith earned his first career hit, and Eli White was a human highlight machine.

Ahead of White’s heroics, Texas tallied a two-spot in the first innings as both Marcus Semien and Corey Seager led off with walks before Kole Calhoun punched both runners in with a groundball single to left, giving the Rangers the early 2-0 nod. Calhoun went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.

Smith – a 24-year-old who played college ball for Louisiana State and was a second-round pick by the Yankees in 2019 – got his first career start in the contest. He came through in his first at-bat with a single for his first professional hit, to the delight of several of his family and friends in attendance on a day he went 3-for-4 for and scored twice.

White then followed Smith to the dish and smashed the first pitch he saw — a 90.2 mph cutter – to centerfield for a 2-run homer. The ball soared just past the 407-foot mark, giving Texas a 4-0 lead.

Besides his contributions at the plate, White made possibly the best play from an outfielder this year in the first inning ahead of his homer, as he chased down a hard-hit ball off the bat of Ji-Man Choi. White tracked the ball to the wall in left-center — in front of the Rays bullpen — and leaped halfway over the fence for the catch, robbing Tampa of a 3-run home run.

“Now that was kind of the play I’ve been dreaming about since I started playing outfield,” White said postgame. “So that was, you know, I felt good about going back on where I was in the field, and you know, I got a good jump on it, so it was really fun playing. I was in, you know, a great, great position, and you know, I saw the ball off the bat, and it’s going to be a play up against the wall. I got to the wall early enough to see [the ball] in the air and try and help the team win any way I could, and felt good about saving those three runs and then being able to add two more runs. That was huge for us.”

Rangers skipper Chris Woodward was among the ranks of people impressed by White’s efforts.

“He just kept rising,” he said of the catch. I have said this many times: this guy is the best thing we have in the organization. Highest vertical, probably the best athlete we have. So, it’s not surprising to us … he robbed a homer, got a homer.”

Glenn Otto got the starting nod for Texas and pitched six innings, allowing two runs, one earned, on four hits and three walks while striking out five. Otto runs his record to 3-2 on the season with the win.

Matt Moore followed Otto on the hill and allowed three earned runs on four hits, walked one, and retired none before being yanked in the top of the seventh.

Dennis Santana pitched the rest of the seventh inning, allowing no baserunners while striking out one. Santana earned his seventh hold of the season.

Matt Bush pitched a perfect eighth inning, and Joe Barlow got the final three outs in the victory.

The Rangers’ win leaves them with a 23.24 mark on the year.

Mitch Garver batted designated hitter for the Rangers and went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, raising his average to .231 on the year.

Game two of the four-game set against the Rays is Tuesday, May 31, starting at 7:05 p.m. Probable pitchers for the match-up are Jeffry Springs (2-2, 1.62) for the Rays and Jon Gray (1-2, 5.56) for the Rangers.