Rangers power past Mets 5-3 to stop slide
NEW YORK (AP) — After more than two weeks of mostly misery, the Texas Rangers weren’t about to start patting themselves on the back for winning one game.
Robinson Chirinos hit an early three-run homer, Adrian Beltre connected again and Texas ended a six-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory over the New York Mets on Saturday night.
“I know we finally won a ballgame, but we’ve got to win more than just today,” manager Ron Washington said.
Alex Rios had three hits, including an RBI double off longtime Texas nemesis Bartolo Colon in a four-run first, and Colby Lewis (6-5) pitched six steady innings to help the banged-up Rangers win for only the third time in 17 games.
They snapped a 10-game skid on the road, their longest since a club-record slide of 12 games in 2003, with their first win away from home since June 16 in Oakland.
“It’s been a rough season and we’ve talked plenty about this, and it’s a shame that it happened to us with as good of a team that we were going to have,” Rios said. “But we just have to go out and play like we did tonight, have fun and enjoy what we do.”
Travis d’Arnaud homered for the Mets, who have dropped five of six and eight of 10. David Wright had a double in four at-bats as he returned to the lineup after missing seven games with a bruised left rotator cuff.
Colon (8-7) went seven innings but lost his second consecutive outing after going 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his previous seven starts.
The 41-year-old right-hander fell to 20-9 in 34 starts against the Rangers, his most wins against any team and the most by any pitcher vs. Texas.
The first inning has been a bugaboo for Colon all season.
“I have no idea why,” he said through a translator. “I was just having trouble getting my pitches where I wanted them that first inning.”
Lewis allowed three runs — two earned — and eight hits. He struck out seven, walked none and pitched around Wright’s leadoff double in the fifth, retiring his final six batters to protect a two-run lead.
The right-hander has lasted at least six innings in three straight starts, compiling 21 strikeouts and no walks during that stretch.
Shawn Tolleson escaped an eighth-inning jam after Texas turned Juan Lagares’ hard grounder into a double play. Joakim Soria, pitching for the first time in six days, worked a one-hit ninth for his 16th save in 17 chances.
“We’re supposed to be winning more ballgames right now,” Beltre said. “All the injuries and stuff — we still have a pretty good team, and we shouldn’t be losing as much as we’ve been. No excuse. We should be playing better, and that’s what we expect.”
Elvis Andrus and Rios hit consecutive doubles in the first to put Texas ahead. Colon had a chance to get out of the inning down by only one, but Chirinos drove a 1-2 pitch the other way to right-center for his eighth home run. He has six homers and 15 RBIs in his last 20 games.
Beltre, who also homered Friday in the Rangers’ first visit to Citi Field, made it 5-0 in the third with his sixth career home run off Colon.
Curtis Granderson hit an RBI double, and Bobby Abreu had a run-scoring single in the bottom half, but Lewis limited the damage. With the bases loaded, Wright flied out to shallow center, Lucas Duda struck out, and Lagares grounded out.
“Just fell short tonight,” said d’Arnaud, who hit a leadoff homer in the fourth.
Chirinos was a bit shaken up in the fifth when a foul ball hit him in the mask. After a trainer and Washington came out for a look, Chirinos and his manager playfully shoved each other before the catcher returned to his spot behind the plate.
“We’re not out of this thing,” Lewis said. “It’s only the All-Star break, so you never know what can kind of happen.”
NOTES: The Mets said right-handed reliever Buddy Carlyle was on his way from Triple-A Las Vegas to New York, and manager Terry Collins confirmed “there is a possibility” left-hander Jonathon Niese will be placed on the disabled list with shoulder trouble. “We will make the announcement (Sunday),” Collins said. “We are going to wait to see when he gets in here, how he is doing.” ... The Rangers fielded a different lineup for the 20th straight game. They’ve used 45 players this season, most in the majors and one shy of their total from last year. ... Washington said he would encourage Yu Darvish to participate in the All-Star game if the Japanese right-hander is chosen for the AL roster on Sunday — but he doesn’t want his ace throwing more than 20 pitches. Darvish’s next scheduled start is Wednesday against Houston. ... Texas 1B Carlos Pena snapped an 0-for-20 slump with an eighth-inning double. He is 4 for 36 (.111) since getting called up from Triple-A Round Rock on June 24. ... Wright extended his hitting streak to 11 games. ... RHP Nick Tepesch (3-3) starts the series finale Sunday against Mets RHP Zack Wheeler (3-8).