Monday's MLB: Ex-Tigers lefty Matt Moore wins in relief for Rangers

Stephen Hawkins
Associated Press

Corey Seager feels like things are starting to come together for the Texas Rangers, who have won four of their last five games.

Marcus Semien and Seager, the two big offseason additions, had RBI singles in the decisive seventh inning, last season’s top rookie Adolis Garcia had a bases-clearing double in the eighth and the Rangers beat the Houston Astros 6-2 in the opener of a four-game series Monday night.

“Everything’s kind of clicking on both sides, the chemistry is getting better,” Seager said. “There’s a lot of new faces, and a lot of new parts that we’re coming together … and are starting to figure themselves out.”

Rangers pitcher Matt Moore delivers against the Astros during the seventh inning on Monday in Arlington, Texas.

Along with the timely hitting late, former Tiger Matt Moore (1-0) and three other relievers combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Young right-handed starter Dane Dunning struck out five and allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings.

In 2019 in Detroit, Moore pitched just 10 innings before a knee injury ended his season. After a year in Japan in 2020, the left-handed starter had a 6.29 ERA with the Phillies in 2021. He signed a minor-league deal with the Rangers this year.

Pinch-hitter Willie Calhoun opened the Texas seventh with a double off just-in reliever Phil Maton (0-1), who after getting his only out allowed Semien’s single through the left side of the drawn-in infield that tied the game at 2-2. After a single by Garcia, another pitching change and a wild pitch, Semien came home with the go-ahead run on Seager’s sharp single to right.

“For Willie to come off the bench right there, it’s not an easy thing to do,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “A huge hit there to start that inning, and we end up getting the lead. And Semien had a really good at-bat before Adolis. Those are the hits we’re going to need.”

Garcia hit his bases-loaded double with two outs in the eighth for the Rangers, who were 2-9 before their recent surge. They won for only the second time in their seven home games this season.

Yordan Alvarez hit his fourth homer for the Astros, who have lost five of six. Kyle Tucker drove in a run with a two-out single in the sixth on which he initially slammed his bat to the ground in disgust thinking he had popped out to shallow left.

Houston starter Framber Valdez allowed only an unearned run over six innings, striking out five, walking two and hitting a batter. The lefty departed after throwing 60 of his 97 pitches for strikes.

“He did pitch good. He got out of some tough jams, made some pitches when he had to,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He got up close to 100 pitches, what we hoped for, and he hoped for too.”

More games

► N.Y. Mets 5, (at) St. Louis 2: Pinch-hitter Dominic Smith hustled for an infield single that drove in two pivotal runs, and the New York Mets capitalized on an uncharacteristic error by Gold Glove third baseman Nolan Arenado to rally for five unearned runs with two outs in the ninth inning of a 5-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Monday night.

After the hit by Smith gave New York the lead, Brandon Nimmo capped the outburst with a two-run homer.

Max Scherzer struck out 10 over seven innings of two-hit ball in a scoreless duel with Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas. A two-run single by Tyler O’Neill off Trevor May (1-0) put St. Louis ahead in the eighth. Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his second save.

New York was down to its final strike when Mark Canha hit a grounder to third against Giovanny Gallegos (0-1). Arenado threw high for an error that allowed Eduardo Escobar to score from second, making it 2-1.

► San Francisco 4, (at) Milwaukee 2: Luis González hit his first major league homer, a two-run drive with two outs in the ninth inning that sent San Francisco past Milwaukee.

The Giants went 8-3 on their four-city trip. Their one-game visit to Milwaukee was part of a makeup for a series postponed because of the lockout, and San Francisco will return for a doubleheader in September.

González connected after Wilmer Flores drew a two-out walk from Jake Cousins (2-1).

Joc Pederson hit his sixth homer for the Giants, a two-run blast that made it 2-1 in the eighth.

The Brewers tied it in their half on Willy Adames’ homer into the left-field bullpen off Jake McGee (1-1).

Camilo Doval threw a scoreless ninth to record his fourth save in five attempts.

► (At) Toronto 6, Boston 2: Bo Bichette broke an eighth-inning tie with his first career grand slam and Toronto beat slumping Boston.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Matt Chapman also homered for the Blue Jays. José Berríos allowed two runs in a season-high seven-plus innings and Adam Cimber (4-0) got three outs for his major league-leading fourth win as Toronto won for the fifth time in six games.

The long balls by Gurriel and Chapman came off Red Sox starter Nathan Eovaldi, who allowed two runs and five hits in a season-high seven innings. Left-hander Matt Strahm (1-1) replaced Eovaldi in the eighth and allowed two baserunners who scored on Bichette’s slam off Tyler Danish.

► L.A. Dodgers 4, (at) Arizona 0: Walker Buehler tossed a three-hitter for his first career shutout, Will Smith launched a solo homer Los Angeles beat Arizona.

Buehler (2-1) retired 15 straight batters during a brilliant stretch from the fourth inning to the ninth. He walked none, hit one batter with a pitch and struck out 10.

The right-hander threw 108 pitches, getting Christian Walker on a flyball to center field for the final out as Los Angeles won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (1-1) gave up three runs over six innings.

► (At) Los Angels Angels 3, Cleveland 0: Taylor Ward homered twice and drove in all three runs, Michael Lorenzen pitched six innings of three-hit ball, and Los Angeles beat Cleveland.

Ward delivered a solo homer in the fifth and a two-run shot in the seventh, both off Cleveland ace Shane Bieber (1-1).

Lorenzen (2-1) walked four but didn’t allow a Cleveland runner to reach third while getting sharp defense behind him. Raisel Iglesias pitched the ninth for his third save, completing three perfect innings by LA’s bullpen.

► (At) Philadelphia 8, Colorado 2: Bryce Harper homered and drove in two runs, Rhys Hoskins had three hits and the Philadelphia took advantage of several defensive miscues by Colorado.

Kyle Schwarber added two RBIs for the Phillies. Kyle Gibson (2-1) lasted 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

Connor Joe and Randal Grichuk homered for Colorado. Kyle Freeland (0-3) allowed four runs – one earned – and six hits in five innings.