Josh Bell’s single to center, his third hit of the night, scored Juan Soto from second base in the eighth inning to lift the Washington Nationals to a 2-1 win over the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas.
Along with his game-winning hit, Bell also had a triple, double and scored a run.
The Rangers didn’t go quietly in the ninth, putting runners on the corners with one out. But Tanner Rainey retired Marcus Semien on a pop out to third base, and ended it by getting Corey Seager to lift a fly ball to center field.
Carl Edwards Jr. (1-1) was credited with the win, and Rainey recorded his ninth save.
The weekend Interleague Series is the first time the Nationals and Rangers have met since 2017, and it’s the first time the Nationals have played in Arlington since 2005, the franchise’s first year in Washington.
The Nationals pulled ahead in the eighth inning on Soto’s double off Dennis Santana (3-3), bringing up the hot-hitting Bell, who has at least one hit in seven of his last eight games. Bell’s run-scoring single gives him 45 RBIs.
The game was scoreless until the sixth inning.
Nationals right-hander Paolo Espino, making his third start and 23rd appearance, threw a season-high 5 1/3 innings, giving up one run on six hits. Since transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation, Espino has now gone back-to-back outings of at least five innings.
Rangers starter Dane Dunning threw six innings, also allowing a run.
Luis Garcia put the Nationals on the board with an RBI ground-rule double in the sixth inning. Bell doubled with one out, and he scored as the ball bounced over the outfield wall.
The Rangers responded quickly in the sixth inning on Adolis Garcia’s 14th home run, a solo shot to open the frame.
Garcia also made a standout defensive play, throwing out Nelson Cruz trying to score from second on Keibert Ruiz’s single in the fourth inning.
–Field Level Media