Lowe, Taveras homer as Rangers beat Rockies for 3rd straight
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe wants to honor his late grandfather with how he plays for the Texas Rangers in the final month of season.
Lowe had a home run and an RBI single among his three hits and the Rangers hung on to beat the Colorado Rockies 4-3 on Tuesday night, two days after Lowe’s grandfather passed away. Texas has won three games in a row for only the second time since the end of June.
“I watched my grandfather take his last breath … and I was on the call when it happened,” Lowe said. “I just want to make him proud.”
Leody Taveras homered for the second game in a row for Texas, and Jordan Lyles (7-11) won for the second time in three starts despite allowing solo homers to Sam Hilliard, C.J. Cron and Ryan McMahon.
While the Rangers have the worst record in the majors since the All-Star break at 12-30, they can match their season-best winning streak if they take the series finale Wednesday. Their last series sweep was three games at home against Kansas City June 25-27, which preceded an off day and then a series-opening victory in Oakland.
“The team’s just competing as a team,” said Lowe, who’s hitting .410 in his last 10 games with a 5-for-5 effort at Cleveland on Aug. 24. “We had hits when we needed them and obviously scored enough to get the job done.”
The Rockies have lost the first two games of this series after sweeping Texas three straight at home in early June.
Lyles gave up six hits, struck out seven and walked one. The right-hander had retired 12 batters in a row before Cron and McMahon went deep back-to-back in the seventh inning. The three homers allowed by Lyles pushed his season total to a majors-high 36, two more than teammate Mike Foltynewicz.
Brett Martin, the second of three Texas relievers, came on with two on and one out in the eighth inning, striking out Charlie Blackmon before a groundout by Cron, who hit .387 in August with 11 homers and 34 RBI. Spencer Patton pitched a perfect ninth for his second save in five opportunities.
Austin Gomber (9-9) allowed all four runs and four hits in 4 1/3 innings, and hasn’t won since Aug. 7. Gomber struck out two and walked six, one short of his career high.
“I’m grinding out there, trying to figure it out,” said Gomber, acquired as part of the deal that sent six-time All-Star third baseman Nolan Arenado to St. Louis before the season. “I don’t feel like I’m far off.”
Lowe gave Texas a 1-0 lead with an opposite-field home run to left-center on Gomber’s first pitch in the second. An inning later, Lowe singled home Adolis Garcia after one of the rookie All-Star’s career-high three walks.
Taveras homered off the back wall of the home bullpen in right-center leading off the fourth for a 3-1 lead. He also had two stolen bases.
The Rangers have been working on plate discipline with Garcia, who has a team-high 29 home runs but went into Tuesday fourth in the majors with 157 strikeouts. Two of his three walks became runs.
“With him, we call it the Barry Bonds drill,” Texas hitting coach Luis Ortiz said before the game. “You’re going to see eight pitches, but only one pitch is going to be your pitch.”
The Rangers cordoned off a section of the second deck beyond left field and draped 13 American flags throughout the seating in honor of the U.S. Mariners killed in Afghanistan last week. A moment of the silence was held before the national anthem.
Jonah Heim caught for Texas after missing nine games while on the team’s COVID-19 list. To make room for Heim on the roster, the Rangers returned LHP Hyeon-jeon Yang to Triple-A Round Rock. ... Hilliard, who grew up just south of Arlington in Mansfield, Texas, posed with family and friends on the field after the game.
Rockies: RHP Jon Gray (forearm tightness) threw a bullpen session and might start Thursday at home vs. Atlanta.
Rangers: Yonny Hernandez (hamstring tightness) was the designated hitter instead of playing second base.
Rangers RHP Kohei Arihara (2-3, 6.59 ERA) is expected to throw 40-45 pitches in his first start since having shoulder surgery in late May. Rockies LHP Kyle Freeland (5-6, 4.17) beat the Los Angeles Dodgers last Saturday, allowing two runs on four hits in six innings.
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