The first day of the three months they'll be without CF Kevin Kiermaier wasn't so bad for the Rays as they beat the Rangers, 8-4.
Mallex Smith, who will get the bulk of the playing time in center field during Kiermaier's absence, got off to a good start Monday, rapping a career-high-matching four hits.
And left-hander Blake Snell gave them the strong start they needed, working into the seventh, scattering five hits while allowing one run and striking out nine.
The Rays (4-12) got off to a good start with a run in the first, though it came with a bad twist as third baseman Matt Duffy left with tightness in his right hamstring.
They broke the game open with a four-run second, sending 10 men to the plate and taking advantage of Texas starter Martin Perez's wildness, the rally starting with two walks and a bunt single by Smith.
The Rays flexed some muscle, too, as C.J. Cron and Daniel Robertson homered in the fourth.
Snell's only true mistake was a big one, as Texas first baseman Joey Gallo crushed a homer that struck the D-ring catwalk above center field. But with manager Kevin Cash saying it was up to the starters to pitch deeper into games to reduce the workload on the bullpen, Snell stepped up quite well.
Right-hander Chih-Wei Hu, called up to boost what Cash acknowledged was a "taxed" bullpen, took over and finished the game, though he allowed a three-run homer to Nomar Mazara.