ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Adolis García extended his MLB-leading RBsI total to 44 with a two-run homer, Dane Dunning was solid again while filling the rotation spot of injured ace Jacob deGrom and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-4 on Tuesday night in an interleague matchup of division leaders.
Dunning (4-0) allowed one run over six innings in his third start since deGrom went on the injured list April 29 because of elbow inflammation. The right-hander has won two of those games, and his other two wins came in games when he took over after deGrom exited early because of injury concerns.
Dunning had four strikeouts without a walk while throwing 60 of 92 pitches for strikes. Will Smith, the fourth Texas reliever, worked a perfect ninth for his eighth save in nine chances.
Ronald Acuña Jr. homered for the third game in a row f or the NL East-leading Braves (26-16), who lost for the fifth time in the past six games. They still have a five-game lead over second-place Miami in the division.
Even with the 12-0 loss to the Braves in the series opener, AL West leader Texas (26-16) has won eight of its last 10 games.
Left-hander Jared Shuster (0-2), Atlanta’s top pitching prospected recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to make the start, didn’t allow a hit until Robbie Grossman’s leadoff single in the fourth. Nathaniel Lowe then drove him home with a double before García’s 11th homer, a 365-foot liner over the right-field wall that made it 3-1.
Jonah Heim drove in a run and extended his career-long hitting streak to 14 games, the longest active in the majors, with a single in the sixth. Marcus Semien and Grossman had back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh and Ezequiel Duran homered in the eighth.
Acuña’s 10th homer of the season was a 455-foot drive to straightaway center leading off the eighth against Jonathan Hernandez.
The second Rangers reliever then hit Matt Olson with a pitch before Sean Murphy followed with his 10th homer to get within 6-4.
Braves: LHP Lucas Luetge, out since mid-April because of left biceps inflammation, was sent to Double-A Mississippi to began a rehab assignment.
Rangers: SS Corey Seager’s return from the injured list was delayed because he was dealing with a stomach bug. He hasn’t played since sustaining a left hamstring strain while running the bases in a game April 11. He finished a three-game rehab stint at Double-A Frisco over the weekend. … DeGrom threw his first bullpen session since going on the 15-day IL on April 29. The Rangers still don’t have a firm timetable for his return and are waiting to see how he feels from the light side session before determining his next step.
Rangers right-hander Nathan Eovaldi (5-2), whose career-long scoreless streak of 28 2/3 innings in the longest active in the majors, starts the series finale Wednesday night. Braves right-hander Spencer Strider (4-1, 2.51) has at least 10 strikeouts in three of his last four starts.
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