ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Josh Jung hit a tiebreaking single in a two-run seventh inning, and the Texas Rangers beat the Boston Red Sox 6-4 on Tuesday night in their bid for an AL playoff berth.
Texas, which ended a four-game losing streak, closed within a half-game of AL West-leading Houston. The Rangers remained tied with Seattle for the third wild card, one game behind Toronto,
Texas plays the Mariners in seven of its last 10 games.
“It’s going to be a fight every night," said Jung, who returned Monday after missing 37 games with a fractured left thumb.
Aroldis Chapman (6-4) retired five consecutive batters in the seventh and eighth innings, striking out three, and Jose Leclerc pitched a perfect ninth for his third save in eight chances.
Chapman's 1,145 strikeouts are 10th among relievers.
“I think the addition of that sinker, he’s making it tougher for everybody," Red Sox manager Alex Cora said.
With the score 4-4, Marcus Semien was hit by a pitch from Chris Murphy (1-2) leading off the seventh and took second on Corey Seager’s single. John Schreiber relieved with one out and Jung grounded a single to center. Schreiber forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk to Jonah Heim.
Boston, last in the AL East, has lost five of six.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was ejected in the seventh by plate umpire Ben May after a ball four to Luis Urias. Alex Verdugo followed with a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder to shortstop but Seager’s throw to second sailed into right field for an error that tied the score 4-4.
“I was kidding the staff now: ‘Hey I need to leave the dugout a little bit more,’” Bochy said.
Adolis Garcia’s career-best 35th homer, his first since coming off the injured list, put Texas ahead in the second. Justin Turner hit a tying RBI grounder in a three-run third that included Masataka Yoshida’s two-run single.
Semien hit a run-scoring single in the fifth, and Texas went ahead 4-3 in the sixth on Leody Taveras’s run-scoring single and Heim’s RBI double.
Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in five innings. It was his fourth start since coming off the 15-day injured list on Sept. 5. He didn’t go further than 3 1/3 innings in his previous three outings.
Boston’s Tanner Houck gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in four innings.
THE BAND’S BACK TOGETHER
Tuesday’s game was Texas’ first since July 18 featuring all six of its 2023 all-stars: Eovaldi, Garcia, Semien, Seager, Jung and Heim.
Red Sox: OF Wilyer Abreu (sore hand) is day to day. … An MRI revealed 1B Triston Casas, who won’t play anymore this season, has bursitis in his right shoulder.
Rangers: Bochy said RHP Josh Sborz (biceps tendinitis) is close to returning after throwing Monday.
Wednesday afternoon’s rubber game will match Rangers RHP Jon Gray (8-8, 4.05 ERA) against Red Sox RHP Brayan Bello (12-9, 3.71). Gray is 0-3 in his previous six outings. Bello comes off a loss and hasn’t lost consecutive starts since early June.
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