WASHINGTON (AP) — Jeimer Candelario and Joey Meneses hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, Alex Call also went deep, and the Washington Nationals snapped a five-game skid with an 8-3 win over the AL West-leading Texas Rangers on Saturday.
Jake Irvin earned his first victory since May 8 for Washington, which had lost 15 of its last 16 games at Nationals Park. Washington is an NL-worst 14-32 at home.
Josh Jung homered twice for Texas, which has lost seven of its last 10 games. Jung, the AL’s starting third baseman in next week’s All-Star Game, leads all major league rookies with 19 home runs.
The Nationals led 4-0 before Texas starter Andrew Heaney (5-6) recorded an out. After back-to-back singles, Candelario — who sat out Friday’s series opener after being hit by a pitch on his right knee a night earlier — homered to right-center.
Meneses then homered for the third time in two days — after going two months without one. It was the fourth time Washington hit consecutive home runs this season, and the first time since May 31.
Call hit a two-run homer in the second, and an inning later Luis García tripled to right and came around to score when second baseman Marcus Semien’s relay throw sailed past third.
Irvin (2-5) remained in the game after a rain delay of an hour and 17 minutes at the start of the fourth inning. The rookie promptly walked Adolis García and allowed Jung’s home run to right. He managed to make it through five innings to win at home for the first time in nine starts.
Jung had his third multi-homer game this season.
Jung added a solo shot on the first pitch of the sixth against reliever Jordan Weems for his fourth career multi-homer game and third this season.
Heaney, who was activated from the paternity list Friday, yielded eight runs, seven earned, in three innings. It matched Heaney’s career high in runs allowed.
Nationals: OF Derek Hill cleared outright waivers and accepted assignment to Triple-A Rochester. Hill was designated for assignment Wednesday. Hill hit .170 in 13 games with Washington.
Adolis García was ejected when, after striking out swinging in the eighth, he pointed and shouted at home plate umpire Gabe Morales. He is the second Rangers player to be ejected this season. Semien was tossed June 15.
Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning (8-1, 2.61 ERA), a first-round pick of Washington in 2016, pitches at Nationals Park for the first time in Sunday’s series finale.
Nationals: LHP Patrick Corbin (5-10, 5.13), who shares the NL lead in losses with Pittsburgh’s Johan Oviedo, faces Texas for the second time in his career and the first time since Aug. 14, 2018.
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