NEW YORK (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe hit a two-run single with two outs in the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers rallied past the New York Mets 4-3 on Monday night for just their second victory in 11 games.
It was the first win for the Rangers this season when trailing after eight innings.
“Huge win,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Nate, that’s one of the biggest hits that we’ve had this year.”
Adolis García began the comeback from a 3-0 deficit by lacing a run-scoring double in the seventh for his 95th RBI — second-most in the American League. Robbie Grossman’s groundout in the eighth scored Corey Seager, who had three hits.
Texas remained one game behind first-place Seattle in the AL West, only the second day this season the Rangers were not atop the division.
“Tough time we’ve had. It’s hard to feel like yourself — you feel like you’ve got to step on the pedal everywhere you go,” said Jon Gray, who allowed three runs in six innings. “I think a game like tonight could be a thing that gets us back into it and gets us back to feeling like ourselves.”
Brandon Nimmo ended an 0-for-21 slump with a two-run homer for the last-place Mets. DJ Stewart also went deep.
Jonah Heim opened the ninth with a single against Trevor Gott (0-4), and Ezequiel Duran followed with a double. Gott struck out Leody Taveras and Marcus Semien and intentionally walked Seager before Lowe hit a 2-1 pitch between first and second to score pinch-runner Josh Smith and Duran.
“Made some great pitches to strike out a really good hitter in Semien and (Taveras) and he’s one pitch away,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “It’s unfortunate.”
Going into Monday, the Rangers were 0-47 when trailing after eight innings.
“You go through a rut like this, you need somebody to pick you up and what a great job (Lowe) did,” Bochy said. “But it wasn’t just him. Pitching did a great job.”
José Leclerc worked around a two-out walk to Francisco Álvarez in the ninth to earn his second save. Martín Pérez (9-4) tossed two hitless innings of relief.
“This was a team win — Martín getting two zeros there and Leclerc getting the save,” Lowe said. “That’s not how we’ve set it up before. New guys stepping up and getting big outs keep us in that game. We took advantage of a couple hits there (with) runners in scoring position.”
Gray gave up Nimmo’s third-inning homer and Stewart’s fifth-inning solo shot but struck out nine batters — his most since whiffing 12 in a complete-game loss to St. Louis on June 7.
Tylor Megill allowed one run and struck out eight in six solid innings for the Mets.
DÍAZ STILL AIMING TO RETURN IN ’23
Mets closer Edwin Díaz, who tore his right patellar tendon on March 15 while celebrating after getting the final out of Puerto Rico’s win over the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic, threw his first outdoor bullpen Sunday as he continues to try and return this season.
“My goal was to be ready in six months,” Díaz said Monday. “And I’m working on that.”
Díaz said he was clocked in the low-to-mid 90s on Sunday.
A light smattering of boos from a late-arriving crowd of 21,696 accompanied a video tribute to Max Scherzer, who returned to Citi Field four weeks after being traded to the Rangers during the Mets’ deadline selloff.
As the video ended, Scherzer smiled sheepishly and made a saluting motion.
Scherzer went 11-5 with a 2.29 ERA in 23 starts while helping the Mets to a 101-61 record and a wild-card berth last season. He was 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA — almost a full run higher than his career mark — in 19 starts upon being traded July 30.
“I wish I would have pitched better,” Scherzer said. “I don’t like to point fingers unless I’m pointing fingers at myself. And I can definitely point the finger at myself.”
Scherzer, who won’t pitch in the series against the Mets, is 3-1 in five starts for the Rangers.
Rangers: RHP Glenn Otto was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock to replace RHP Jonathan Hernández, who was optioned to the same affiliate after walking three batters in the 13th inning of Sunday’s loss.
Mets: RF Starling Marte (right groin) began undergoing physical therapy in Philadelphia. Showalter said Marte will likely receive treatment through Friday.
LHP Andrew Heaney (9-6, 4.34 ERA) starts Tuesday night for the Rangers in the middle game of the series against LHP José Quintana (1-5, 3.73). Heaney has thrown just 9 1/3 innings combined in his last three starts. Quintana has pitched at least five innings in all seven starts this season.
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