Seven scoreless innings from Nathan Eovaldi held the Houston Astros at bay on Saturday in Arlington as the host Texas Rangers prevailed in a 5-2 victory.
Eovaldi (10-3) walked four batters but Houston tallied just two hits, as the Astros put only one runner in scoring position in the seven innings that he was on the mound. Will Smith recorded his 15th save of the season, throwing three pitches as he induced a groundout that sealed the win.
Marcus Semien and Jonah Heim led the way for Texas, each going 3-for-4.
Astros starter Hunter Brown allowed 10 hits and three runs in four innings. Brown (6-5) took the loss, despite not walking a batter and striking out six.
Texas broke the scoreless tie in the third inning. Corey Seager's sharp groundball deflected off the outstretched glove of Astros' second baseman Jose Altuve, easily scoring Leody Taveras from third.
The Rangers extended their lead to three runs in the fourth, as Heim led off the inning with a double. Travis Jankowski's single drove home Heim, and Semien did the same two batters later with a two-out hit that dropped into left field, scoring Jankowski from second.
In the seventh, the Rangers found momentum again, sparked by Adolis Garcia's leadoff double into the left-center field gap. Josh Jung followed with a double that rolled to the center field wall, scoring Garcia for a 4-0 advantage.
Texas put runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth, and that is where they remained until the second out was recorded on Nate Lowe's flyout. Taveras tagged from second on the play, and a throwing error by Jake Meyers allowed Taveras to score.
With two outs in the ninth, Houston's Alex Bregman popped the ball up down the first base line. Lowe dropped it on the fringe of fair territory and Bregman was credited with a double. Kyle Tucker followed with a two-run home run to break the shutout, though the late rally ended there.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out -
Nathaniel Lowe 2 (37), Adolis Garcia 2 (37), Josh Jung (49), Travis Jankowski 2 (17)
Team LOB - 25
Marcus Semien (2nd off Brown/Maldonado), Travis Jankowski (2nd off Brown/Maldonado), Travis Jankowski (2nd off Martinez/Maldonado), Leody Taveras (2nd off Montero/Maldonado), Leody Taveras (2nd off Montero/Maldonado), Leody Taveras (2nd off Montero/Maldonado)
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