Rangers shut out Nationals 6-0. Eovaldi leaves start with groin injury

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nathan Eovaldi pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings before leaving with groin tightness, Ezequiel Duran’s two-out double was the first of three consecutive RBI hits in the second inning and the Texas Rangers beat the Washington Nationals 6-0 on Thursday.

Eovaldi (2-2) limited the Nationals to two hits and two walks while throwing 92 pitches — 13 short of his season high. He struck out eight for the fourth time this year, his season high. He won for the first time since April 3 and for the first time in four home starts this year.

Jacob Latz, David Robertson and Jonathan Hernández finished off the four-hit shutout, Texas’ second this season.

The Rangers (17-15) won a second straight series, which the defending World Series champions had not done since winning the first two series of the season.

The Nationals (15-16) failed to move above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2021. Arriving in Texas after scoring 33 runs in a four-game sweep at Miami, the Nats scored two runs in three games.

Eovaldi said he felt the injury throwing a 94 mph fastball for strike one to Luis Garcia Jr. with one on in the sixth. He’ll get an MRI on Friday.

“Just play it safe,” Eovaldi said.

“He may need some rest,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ll take care of him and do what’s right.”

Duran’s double was his second RBI of the season, first since opening day. He’d sat out the previous three games after going 6 for 38, dropping his batting average from a season-high .429 to .200.

Evan Carter and Marcus Semien followed with RBI singles off rookie Mitchell Parker (2-1), making his fourth major league start.

The Rangers added three runs in the eighth inning. Two scored on Travis Jankowski’s single. Jankowski replaced Duran at DH in the sixth inning.

Parker gave up three runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings while walking two and striking out five. He’d allowed three total runs in his previous three starts after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on April 15 when Josiah Gray was placed on the injured list.

The two runs in a three-game series matched the Nats’ franchise low, done three previous times.

“If you think hitting’s easy, you’re really mistaken about this game,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We’ve just got to keep going, keep grinding.”

Texas’ Josh Smith extended his on-base streak to a career-best 19 games with a second-inning walk.

Corey Seager, MVP of the Rangers’ World Series victory last fall, continued to struggle at the plate. Seager went 0 for 4 and is 3 for 41 over his past 11 games, dropping his batting average from .301 to .219.

UP NEXT

Nationals left-hander Patrick Corbin (0-3, 6.82 ERA) will face Toronto left-hander Yusei Kikuchi (2-2, 2.94) on Friday to begin a five-game homestand.

Rangers right-hander Michael Lorenzen (2-1, 4.24) will pitch on Friday against Kansas City right-hander Brady Singer (2-1, 2.62) to start a 10-game road trip, including a scheduled doubleheader at Oakland next Wednesday.

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