PITTSBURGH (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi pitched a complete game for the second time in five starts after throwing just two in the first 226 of his major league career, leading the Texas Rangers over the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 on Tuesday night.
Eovaldi (6-2) allowed six hits, struck out five and walked one, his fifth straight start of at least seven innings. The 33-year-old right-hander, a 12-year big league veteran. pitched a three-hit shutout in a 2-0 win over the Yankees on April 29.
Texas has won four of five. losing Monday’s series opener 6-4 . Pittsburgh has split its last eight games after losing 11 of 12 and has not won a series since taking two of three at Washington on April 29 and 30.
Rich Hill (4-4) gave up five runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings with a season-high nine strikeouts.
Josh Jung hit his 11th home run of his first full season in the majors to give the Rangers a five-run lead in the eighth, crushing a curveball from Duane Underwood Jr. 444 feet to left. The 25-year-old hit five home runs in 26 games last year after debuting on Sept. 9.
Two Texas runs came in on balks, one from Hill for the second of two runs in the first and another by José Hernández that capped a three-run sixth.
Pittsburgh’s Ji Hwan Bae was picked off first in the third inning, then overran second and was tagged out on Andrew McCutchen’s eighth-inning single. The Pirates committed three errors and had five wild pitches in their previous loss, 8-3 rout to Arizona on Sunday.
Bryan Reynolds drove in Pittsburgh’s run with a third-inning double.
Rangers: C Mitch Garver (left knee sprain) and OF Travis Jankowski (right hamstring strain) joined Triple-A Round Rock for rehab assignments. Garver, who has been out since April 8, is expected to DH the first two games before catching the third. Jankowski has not played since experiencing hamstring tightness against the Angels on May 7.
Pirates: 1B Ji Man Choi fielded groundballs from his knees before the game. He is on the 60-day injured list with a left Achilles sprain sustained April 13.
LHP Martín Pérez (5-1, 4.01) will take the mound for the Rangers in the series finale Wednesday afternoon, opposite Pirates RHP Johan Oviedo (3-3, 4.69).
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