Advertisement

Eovaldi strikes out 8 in 7 shutout innings, Seager homers and Rangers beat Rays 4-1

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi struck out eight in seven shutout innings. Corey Seager homered and the Texas Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-1 on Wednesday.

Eovaldi (1-0) scattered four hits and walked one, throwing 103 pitches. After going 5-0 during the Rangers' postseason run to last year's World Series title, the 34-year-old right-hander has allowed two runs in 13 innings this season for a 1.38 ERA.

“Tough team, tough place to win,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said after Texas took two of three from the Rays. “Pitching. I mean, what a great job they did. Seven really solid innings."

Eovaldi had a dominating splitter and recorded a personal-best 23 swings and misses.

“I felt like I had really good feel for right out of the gate,” Eovaldi said. “Trying to attack these guys inside. They’re really aggressive out there.”

Eovaldi is 3-0 with an 0.46 ERA in last his three starts against the Rays, including the postseason.

“He seems to dial it up against us,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “He had great stuff today. Just kind of gives us fits.”

Seager broke a scoreless tie with a leadoff homer in the sixth off Aaron Civale (1-1) and Josh Smith added a two-run single during a three-run ninth against Garrett Cleavinger.

“Aaron was outstanding,” Cash said. “He have us every opportunity.”

Struggling Rangers reliever Jose Leclerc gave up an RBI single to Harold Ramírez in the ninth. After José Caballero hit a flyout to the warning track with two on, Curtis Mead. hit a game-ending comebacker.

Leclerc has a 20.25 ERA in three appearances, allowing six earned runs over 2 2/3 innings

Civale allowed one run, four hits and two walks to go with eight strikeouts in six innings.

Tampa Bay's streak of games with a home run and a stolen base at the season's start ended at six. The Rays had joined Cleveland in 1998 as the only teams to accomplish the feat.

Rays second baseman Brandon Lowe left after five innings due to left side tightness and is day to day.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: 3B Josh Jung (broken right wrist) will miss eight to 10 weeks after surgery Tuesday.

Rays: RHP Drew Ramussen (right elbow internal brace surgery) had a long toss session and worked on mechanics without throwing on a bullpen mound while holding an oversize rubber ball. LHP Jeffrey Springs (Tommy John surgery) threw at 60 feet on level ground. Both could return this season. Rasmussen and Springs are among five Rays starting pitchers on the IL, along with ace Shane McClanahan (Tommy John surgery), and RHPs Shane Baz (oblique) and Taj Bradley (right pectoral strain).

UP NEXT

Rangers: LHP Cody Bradford (1-0) starts the opener of a four-game series Friday night against Houston. Texas beat the Astros in a seven-game AL Champipnship Series last year in which the road team won every game.

Rays: RHP Zack Littell (1-0) is scheduled to face Colorado in the Rockies' home opener on Friday. The forecast for Denver calls for sunshine and a high of 74.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb