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Another stellar start from Jon Gray leads Rangers past Guardians 4-0 to end 5-game losing streak

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jon Gray pitched four-hit ball into the seventh inning and the Texas Rangers got two-run homers from Marcus Semien and Adolis García to beat the Cleveland Guardians 4-0 on Wednesday night, stopping a five-game losing streak.

Gray (2-1) allowed only one runner beyond first base while throwing 94 pitches in 6 1/3 innings and lowering his ERA to 2.08. He’s limited opponents to seven earned runs in 48 1/3 innings over eight starts and one cameo relief appearance since giving up five runs in 3 2/3 innings during his season debut.

“I think the best comes out of me when times are tough right now, and I think that’s important for a starting pitcher,” said Gray, supported by two runs or fewer in seven of his previous eight starts. “That’s why we were so good last year.”

The defending World Series champion Rangers (23-22) have never been under .500 since Bruce Bochy became their manager before last season. This was their seventh victory this year while at .500.

Semien drilled his fifth-inning home run to left field, where the ball grazed the glove of a leaping Estevan Florial. The drive came two pitches after first baseman Josh Naylor barely missed catching a foul ball sliced far down the right-field line.

“That’s not a play we expect to get made,” Guardians manager Stephen Vogt said. “It’s one of those ‘Wow!’ when it gets made.”

García homered for the second consecutive night, in the sixth. Nick Sandlin followed starter Carlos Carrasco (2-4) by walking leadoff batter Nathaniel Lowe before García hit his club-best 10th homer to left.

José Leclerc, David Robertson and Kirby Yates completed the six-hitter.

Texas, tied for first in the AL with 209 runs going into Wednesday, was held to 10 total runs in its five straight losses.

Gray escaped one jam, inducing a double-play grounder from Naylor with runners at the corners to end the sixth.

The first-place Guardians (27-17) had won three in a row. They went 8-8 and won three of five series while playing 16 straight days going into Thursday’s off day, including 6-5 after losing Steven Kwan, the league’s leading hitter, to a hamstring strain.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Guardians: Neither OF Tyler Freeman nor SS Brayan Rocchio felt any ill effects from their collision during Tuesday night’s game. … RHP Gavin Williams (elbow) will throw a bullpen on Friday, making more pitches than in his Tuesday session.

Rangers: RHP Max Scherzer (offseason back surgery, nerve issue) can’t return before May 28 after being moved to the 60-day injured list Wednesday. … OF Evan Carter (lower back soreness) missed his fifth consecutive game.

UP NEXT

Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie (2-3, 3.54 ERA) will pitch at home Friday against Minnesota RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 3.24) as Cleveland debuts its City Connect uniforms.

Rangers LHP Andrew Heaney (0-4, 4.39 ERA) will open a three-game home series against the Los Angeles Angels and former Texas manager Ron Washington on Friday.

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A previous version of this story has been corrected to show that Gray has allowed seven earned runs in his last 48 1/3 innings over eight starts and one relief appearance instead of 48 2/3 innings over eight starts.

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

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