PHOENIX (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — Hopefully it’s the start of a trend… Jordan Lyles pitched seven smooth innings in relief, Jason Martin hit a two-run single and the Texas Rangers beat the Diamondbacks Tuesday night.
It’s a rare three-game winning streak for the Rangers after the 3-1 victory. They’ll try to tie their season high of four straight wins on Wednesday.
“We had a hard time winning games like today earlier in the season,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “Now we’re finding ways to win games like this.”
Arizona has lost nine of 10.
The Arizona Diamondbacks jumped out to a short-lived 1-0 lead in the third when Josh Rojas hit a sacrifice fly that brought home Daulton Varsho.
Texas responded with three runs in the fourth, the big blow coming on Martin’s two-run single. Lyles took it from there, matching his season high with seven innings despite coming out of the bullpen. He threw 96 pitches.
Texas used an opener to start the game and right-hander Spencer Howard was effective, retiring all six hitters he faced before handing off to Lyles.
It was the second straight strong outing for Lyles (8-11), a veteran right-hander who has had a rough season and entered with a 5.63 ERA. He’d given up the most hits (171) and homers (36) in the AL this year.
But Lyles cruised through the Diamondbacks’ lineup, yielding just three hits and one run. Texas shortstop Yonny Hernandez helped the pitcher by making a diving catch of Varsho’s line drive to end the fourth that would have scored Pavin Smith from third.
Smith had two of Arizona’s three hits.
Lyles retired 15 of the last 16 batters he faced.
“We had a couple quick, efficient innings in there,” Lyles said. “Not too much traffic on the bases.”
Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said his team wasn’t being selective enough at the plate and lacked energy at times, especially during the early innings.
“I saw the same game you saw, and we’ve got to do better,” Lovullo said.
Arizona wasted a solid start from Zac Gallen (2-9), who gave up three runs over 6 2/3 innings. The right-hander allowed six hits and struck out eight. The only blemish was a 28-pitch fourth that resulted in three runs.
“I thought he did a great job outside of the fourth,” Lovullo said. “If you’re looking at the entire day, he pitched into the seventh, gave up three runs, overall a solid outing.”
It was an interleague matchup between two last-place teams that have long been out of contention. The Rangers (50-88) and Diamondbacks (45-94) came in a combined 74 games out of first place and 87 games below .500.
Arizona was playing slightly better immediately following the All-Star break with an 8-8 record in the first 16 games. Since then, the Diamondbacks have had a slow regression and lost 12 of their past 16.
(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)