NEW YORK (AP) — Mitch Garver homered to snap a scoreless tie in the seventh inning and the Texas Rangers, finally emerging from a slump, beat the New York Mets 2-1 on Tuesday night.
Ezequiel Duran had an RBI single and Andrew Heaney rebounded from a rough stretch with seven strikeouts in 5 1/3 shutout innings for the Rangers, who began the day a game behind AL West-leading Seattle. They’ve won three of four following a season-worst eight-game slide that helped drop them out of first place for the first time since early April.
Chris Stratton (2-1) entered with two on in the sixth and retired cleanup hitter Pete Alonso on a foul popup before striking out rookie slugger Francisco Álvarez. It was Stratton’s first win for Texas since being acquired from St. Louis on July 30 in the trade that also netted starter Jordan Montgomery.
Brock Burke fanned two in a one-hit seventh and Will Smith worked a perfect eighth, combining with first baseman Nathaniel Lowe for a difficult glove-to-glove flip on Jeff McNeil’s drag bunt.
Aroldis Chapman allowed a two-out homer to Mark Vientos in the ninth before finishing for his fourth save this season and second with Texas since being obtained from Kansas City in late June.
The last-place Mets (60-73) wasted six scoreless innings from José Quintana and lost for the sixth time in seven games, equaling their season low at 13 games under .500.
Leading off the seventh, Garver drove the second pitch from reliever Drew Smith (4-5) to center field for his 13th home run of the season.
Duran added an RBI single off Phil Bickford in the ninth to make it 2-0.
Rangers: A scheduled bullpen session for All-Star pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (right forearm strain) was pushed back a day to Wednesday. Eovaldi has been sidelined since his July 18 start against Tampa Bay. … All-Star catcher Jonah Heim was rested in favor of light-hitting backup Austin Hedges, who entered 4 for 6 with a walk against Quintana. Hedges struck out both times up versus the left-hander. Heim pinch-hit for Hedges in the seventh and struck out, then remained in the game behind the plate. … Touted outfield prospect Evan Carter was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock, on his 21st birthday.
Texas RHP Dane Dunning (9-6, 3.36 ERA) starts Wednesday night as the Rangers try for a three-game sweep. Dunning has lost his past two starts and is 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA in his last nine. He has never faced the Mets, who had not announced a starter.
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