WASHINGTON (AP) — Adolis García and Corey Seager homered, rookie Cody Bradford earned his first major league victory, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Washington Nationals 7-2 Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Garcia and Josh Jung each drove in two runs for Texas, which had dropped six of eight. The Rangers assured themselves of entering the All-Star break with at least a share of the AL West lead.
Joey Meneses hit two homers for Washington, which has lost five in a row and has dropped 15 of 16 at Nationals Park since June 3. The last-place Nationals are an NL-worst 13-32 at home.
Seager and García both homered in the seventh inning off reliever Joan Adon, who was making his first major league appearance in exactly one year. García was named a starting outfielder for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Seattle earlier in the day, which put Texas in line to become the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds to have five position players start an All-Star Game.
Bradford (1-1) allowed one run — Meneses’ shot in the first — over five innings to secure a win in his seventh career appearance and fifth start. Meneses, who entered with only two homers and none since May 7, blasted reliever Glenn Otto’s first pitch to left-center to lead off the sixth.
Texas scored twice in the first off Trevor Williams (5-5) on García’s grounder and Jonah Heim’s RBI single.
The Rangers had three consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth, capped by Jung’s two-run bloop single to make it 4-1.
Williams allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out five.
He threw a season-high 110 pitches a day after Washington needed its bullpen to work 8 2/3 innings thanks in part to a second-inning rain delay.
Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams started in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career, a move manager Dave Martinez said he planned to stick with. Abrams was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Washington went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals are 7 for 42 in those situations during their skid.
Rangers: Optioned LHP John King to Triple-A Round Rock. King was 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 games.
Nationals: 3B Jeimer Candelario was scratched. Candelario departed Thursday’s game when he was hit by a pitch on his right knee in the 10th inning. … Washington recalled Adon from Triple-A Rochester and optioned LHP Joe La Sorsa to Rochester. Adon went 1-12 with a 7.10 ERA in 14 starts for the Nationals last year.
Rangers: LHP Andrew Heaney (5-5, 4.12 ERA), who was activated from the paternity list Friday, is 0-0 with a 3.27 ERA in three career appearances against Washington.
Nationals: RHP Jake Irvin (1-5, 4.70) is winless in nine starts since May 8, but has a 3.18 ERA over his last four outings.
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