Solak, Culberson drive in 3 each, Rangers top Rays 8-3

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Nick Solak and Charlie Culberson drove in three runs apiece, Kyle Gibson pitched seven strong innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 8-3 Tuesday night to end a season-high four-game losing streak.

Solak delivered the biggest blow in a four-run fourth-inning against Ryan Yarbrough (0-2), a double down the left field line that cleared the bases after the Rangers loaded them with three consecutive singles.

Culberson finished the fourth with an RBI double, then pushed the lead to 8-2 with a two-run homer off Trevor Richards in the eighth.

Gibson (2-0) allowed two runs and four hits over seven innings. The 33-year-old right-hander walked two and struck out three.

Shut out in three of their previous four games, including Monday night’s series opener in which they were limited to three hits in a 1-0 loss, the Rangers quickly ensured they wouldn’t make franchise history by being blanked in three consecutive games.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa singled to begin the game, took second on a balk and scored on Joey Gallo‘s single.

One night after managing just two hits off Rays ace Tyler Glasnow over 7 2/3 innings, the Rangers finished with 13 hits. Most of the damage was inflicted against Yarbrough, who yielded six runs and 10 hits over six innings.

Gibson shut down the AL champions after yielding two runs in the first, one of them on Joey Wendle‘s double and the other unearned. He allowed four baserunners over the next six innings, with only one of them reaching as far as second base.

Tampa Bay’s Yandy Diaz had a RBI single off reliever Brett Martin in the eighth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Rangers: 1B/OF Ronald Guzman was placed on the 10-day injured list with a meniscus cartilage tear in his right knee. He was injured chasing a pop fly eventually caught by Kiner-Falefa on Monday night. … RP Matt Bush (right elbow inflammation) was transferred from 10-day to 60-day injured list.

Rays: CF Kevin Kiermaier (left quadriceps strain) is running and could be getting close to getting at-bats in simulated game situations at the alternate training site.

UP NEXT

The Rays added left-hander Josh Fleming to the taxi squad for Tuesday night’s game, and he’s expected to make his season debut and face the Rangers, either as the starting pitcher or following an opener on Wednesday night. Right-hander Kohei Arihara (0-1, 5.00 ERA) starts for Texas.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.