Nathan Eovaldi tosses complete game as Rangers top Pirates

May 23, 2023; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Texas Rangers starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) delivers a pitch  against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Eovaldi fired a complete-game six-hitter and the visiting Texas Rangers evened their three-game series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday night in a 6-1 victory.

Eovaldi (6-2) held the Pirates to a single run, walked one and struck out five to become the first pitcher in the majors to record two complete games this season.

Pirates starter Rich Hill (4-4) tallied nine strikeouts, but also allowed seven hits and five earned runs through 5 1/3 innings.

Texas remained atop the AL West standings, having won eight of its 12 road games in the month of May. The Pirates, who pulled out a 6-4 victory over the Rangers on Monday, have lost 15 of their past 20 since a 20-8 start.

In Texas’ loss to Pittsburgh on Monday, the Rangers’ first run did not come until the sixth inning. Marcus Semien made sure the scoring began earlier on Tuesday night as he led off with a triple in the first. Corey Seager’s infield single brought Semien home.

Before the end of the inning, Seager also scored. A balk against Hill — met with great displeasure from Hill himself and the Pittsburgh dugout — advanced Seager from third base, giving Texas a 2-0 lead.

Hill responded by striking out the side in the second inning and followed with three more scoreless frames. That allowed Pittsburgh to get within a run of the lead, as the Pirates cut the deficit to 2-1 in the third on Bryan Reynolds’ RBI double off the right-center field wall, which scored Andrew McCutchen from first.

But a three-run sixth from Texas erased any increasing momentum for the Pirates. Perhaps fueled by an inning-ending double play from the Rangers’ infield in the fifth, Texas opened the sixth aggressive at the plate.

Nathaniel Lowe, on the receiving end of that double play at first base, drew a walk. Adolis Garcia doubled in the following at-bat before Josh Jung, who sparked the double play from his spot at third base, singled sharply to center field, driving in both runners.

Another balk, this one from Pirates reliever Jose Hernandez, brought Jung home three batters later.

Jung’s eighth-inning solo homer capped Texas’ scoring in the win, as he finished with three RBIs and two runs.

–Field Level Media

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