Lowe’s 3-run homer helps Rangers over Athletics 10-3

Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports
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ARLINGTON, Texas – Nathaniel Lowe hit a three-run home run, Jonah Heim drove in two runs against his former team and the Texas Rangers beat the Oakland Athletics 10-3 on Thursday.

Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning (3-6) earned his second consecutive win after going three months without a victory.

Texas completed a 4-3 homestand by splitting four games with the last-place A’s and clinched its first season series over Oakland since 2016 – their most recent winning season. All four games were played after manager Chris Woodward was fired Monday and replaced on an interim basis by coach Tony Beasley. Jon Daniels, the team’s president of baseball operations, was relieved of his duties Wednesday.

“Everybody’s in a spot where there’s so much going on,” said Lowe, who’s hitting .371 this month. “To be able to kind of clear it out and have a good flight, get on the road, have a long series (four games at Minnesota) where we can hopefully get out some more Ws is going to be good for the team.”

Lowe blasted a 2-1 curveball into the right-field seats in the fifth inning, one inning after taking a pitch to his upper back. He has 17 homers this season, one short of the career high he set last year.

Adolis Garcia hit a single leading off the second inning to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 15 games. It’s the longest active streak in the majors and Texas’ longest since Elvis Andrus‘ 19-game streak in 2018. Heim’s triple brought Garcia home.

Dunning (3-6) allowed two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Before his Aug. 6 win over the Chicago White Sox, he set a franchise record by going 15 starts without a win.

A day after Mark Mathias made his Rangers debut, he hit a solo home run in the second inning in his first start. He was acquired from Milwaukee on Aug. 1 for reliever Matt Bush.

Oakland rookie lefthander Zach Logue (3-7) allowed seven runs in 4 1/3 innings, and gave up six hits, including both homers.

“Just kind of erratic,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said of his starter. “Not real great command. There wasn’t a ton of swing-and-miss today. Ultimately, the two home runs got him.”

Sheldon Neuse, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday, hit a two-run homer in the fourth for the Athletics’ first two runs.

SHORT HOPS

Athletics C Shea Langeliers, who was promoted Tuesday from Las Vegas, played his first game in the field following two games at DH. Langeliers threw out Marcus Semien trying to steal second in the first inning. Langeliers had three assists in the first three innings. . Rangers LHP Matt Moore returned after going on the paternity list on Sunday and pitched a scoreless eighth with two strikeouts. . Texas optioned LHP John King to Triple-A Round Rock.

WOODWARD STATEMENT

The former Texas manager provided his first public comments Thursday through a team news release.

“Through a pandemic, the heartbreaking tribulations of social injustice and against the backdrop of an aggressive rebuild, I continue to feel proud of the processes we initiated and the changes we were able to implement with the time we were given,” he said.

TRADING PLACES

Heim was acquired in February 2021 in the trade that included veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus, who was released by Oakland on Wednesday. Heim hit his first career triple in the second inning.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Athletics: An MRI showed OF Ramon Laureano, who was removed from Sunday’s game, has a Grade 1 left oblique strain. Kotsay said the next step will be working on pain tolerance.

Rangers: RHP Dennis Santana (ankle sprain) was sent to Round Rock to start a rehab assignment.

UP NEXT

Athletics: LHP Cole Irvin (6-10, 3.13 ERA) will open a three-game home series on Friday night against Seattle LHP Marco Gonzales (7-12, 4.18). Irvin is 0-3 this month and 0-5 in his career against the Mariners.

Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (9-3, 2.79) will face Minnesota RHP Dylan Bundy (6-5, 4.76) on Friday night as Texas begins a six-game road trip.

Braves sweep Mets, take 2-game lead in East with 3 remaining

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered for the third straight game, Travis d'Arnaud hit a go-ahead two-run single in the third inning, and Atlanta Braves beat the New York Mets 5-3, completing a three-game sweep of their NL East rival and taking a two-game lead in the division with three games to play.

The defending World Series champion Braves have been chasing the Mets the entire season. In the final series of the season, any combination of one Atlanta win or one Mets loss would give the Braves their fifth straight division title.

New York plays its final three games of the season against worst-in-the-majors Washington. Atlanta closed out the regular season with a three-game set in Miami. Should the season end Wednesday in a tie, Atlanta would win the division after claiming the season series 10-9 with Sunday’s victory.

The Braves won five of the last six games in the series, outscoring the Mets 42-19 over that stretch. New York had a 10 1/2-game lead on June 1 but now is the lower in the standings than at any point this season.

It was a lost weekend for New York, which came to Atlanta hoping to clinch its first division title since 2015. Instead, aces Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer lost Friday and Saturday before 15-game winner Chris Bassitt lasted just 2 2/3 innings on Sunday.

Swanson took Bassitt deep to right-center in the first with his 25th homer, and Atlanta took charge with a three-run third. Bassitt (15-9) issued a bases-loaded walk to Olson before d’Arnaud delivered a single up the middle to score Ronald Acuna Jr. and Austin Riley for a 4-3 lead. That chased Bassitt, who was charged with four runs, three hits and three walks.

Olson connected for his 33rd homer to make it 5-3 leading off the sixth, his 410-foot shot landing in the seats in right-center. Olson, in his first year with Atlanta, surpassed 100 RBIs for the second straight season.

Charlie Morton stranded runners on first and second in the first, but he gave up Daniel Vogelbach‘s 18th homer that tied it at 1 in the second. The righty struck out Francisco Lindor with runners on first and second to end the threat.

Jeff McNeil went deep off Morton in the third and Vogelbach followed with an RBI single to put the Mets up 3-1. Morton entered the game having allowed 28 homers, sixth-most in the NL.

Morton scuffled throughout his start, giving up three runs and nine hits in 4 1/3 innings as the 38-year-old made his first start since signing a $20 million, one-year contract to remain with Atlanta next season.

Dylan Lee (5-1) relieved Morton and pitched 1 1/3 innings, leaving after a walk to Brandon Nimmo with two outs in the sixth. Collin McHugh entered and struck out Francisco Lindor.

Raisel Iglesias faced four batters in the seventh, A.J. Minter faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen converted his third save of the series with a clean ninth.

Jansen leads the NL with 40 saves in 47 chances.

The Braves’ bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA last month, pitched 8 2/3 scoreless innings the last two nights.

BIG NUMBERS

Atlanta leads the NL with 241 homers. And the Braves have their first 100-victory season since 2003.

TWO, DARN HOT

McNeil went 3 for 5 and has multiple hits in five straight games. His average is .326, one point behind the Dodgers’ Freddie Freeman for the NL batting title. In 23 career games at Truist Park, McNeil is hitting .395 with 12 runs, nine doubles, two homers, seven RBIs and four walks. … Jansen tied Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley for eighth place on the career list with 389. He’s also is the 10th closer to have four different seasons with at least 40 saves.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. … Braves 2B Ozzie Albies (broken right pinky finger) is still wearing a cast. … Braves RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique.

ATTENDANCE

The Braves drew 42,713 in their regular season finale, the club’s 42nd sellout of the season. Overall. that’s 3,129,931 for the season – and the most tickets sold since 2000. In 2019, the team’s last full season before the COVID-19 pandemic, Atlanta drew 2,655,100.

UP NEXT

Mets: RHP Carlos Carrasco (15-7, 3.95 ERA) will face Nationals RHP Cory Abbott (0-4, 5.11).

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder (2-3, 2.76 ERA) will face Marlins LHP Jesus Luzardo (3-7, 3.53).