The Rays flew home early this morning from the heart of Texas still hopeful of chasing someone down for a postseason spot, thanks to a winning road trip that took them cross country and through three time zones.

Thursday’s 6-3 win against the Rangers at Globe Life Park was the Rays’ sixth of the 10-game, three-city trip against the Athletics, Cubs and Rangers. Three of the four losses came in extra-innings.

“We’re really good with the bounce after the fall,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We’ve lost some tough games on this trip, and that’s part of the game of baseball but we came back.”

Thursday’s victory gave the Rays three wins in the four-game series against the Rangers and improved their record to 10-2 in their last 12 series with four of those victories coming in four-game series.

More importantly, Thursday’s win moved the Rays to within one game of .500 for the second time since they bottomed out at 18 games under .500 on June 10. Since then the Rays are 36-19, which is the second-best record in the majors behind the Orioles during that run.

Now the Rays begin a nine-game stretch where they play teams that they are chasing in the Wild Card standings -- Yankees, Tigers and Blue Jays.

Rolling past the Rangers during the past two games behind dominant performances by Chris Archer on Wednesday and Jake Odorizzi on Thursday gives the Rays some momentum heading into the homestand.

“I think it’s a big thing, honestly,” Odorizzi said. “It feels like we haven’t played anybody in the East for a long time. We’ve been playing really well outside the division and now’s the real test and now we start our division so we can make up a lot of ground if we continue to play this way.”

Rays pitchers have allowed three or fewer runs in 18 straight road games, the longest run of its kind in the major leagues since the 1908 Cubs did it in 21 games. Their current run of three or fewer runs allowed in 10 straight games – all on this road trip – is a team record for games played home or away.