MLB: Nathan Eovaldi extends scoreless streak as Rangers blank A’s

Nathan Eovaldi recorded a career-high 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 scoreless innings as the visiting Texas Rangers handled the Oakland Athletics 4-0 in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday.

Manager Bruce Bochy made a triumphant return to the San Francisco Bay Area as the Rangers won for the fifth time in seven tries on a 10-day Western swing.

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Marcus Semien, Robbie Grossman and Jonah Heim — all former Athletics — combined for three hits and three runs.

Eovaldi (5-2) allowed just three hits and one walk while coming within one out of his second shutout of the season. He has not allowed a run in his past three outings, covering 25 2/3 innings.

The A’s forced Bochy, making his Bay Area homecoming after having spent 13 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, to call upon Will Smith out of the bullpen in the ninth after Esteury Ruiz lashed a two-out double and Eovaldi walked Ryan Noda. Smith struck out Brent Rooker for his seventh save.

Before Ruiz’s second hit of the night in the ninth, Eovaldi had allowed just three baserunners, two of whom were gunned down by Heim trying to steal. Eovaldi had faced just one batter over the minimum until Ruiz’s double.

Eovaldi’s 12 strikeouts were one more than his previous career-high total set for the Boston Red Sox against the Seattle Mariners on May 22, 2022.

Promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas to make the start, A’s right-hander Luis Medina (0-2) matched zeros with Eovaldi through four innings before a single by Josh Jung, a wild pitch and a two-out RBI single by Leody Tavares put the Rangers up 1-0 in the fifth.

The visitors tacked on two in the sixth on Semien’s seventh homer of the season and on a wild pitch that scored Grossman, who had doubled.

Heim doubled and completed the scoring in the seventh on an RBI infield out by Sam Huff, who was making his season debut.

Medina was pulled after six innings, charged with three runs on five hits. He struck out three and issued no walks.

Jung joined Ruiz as the only players in the game with multiple hits as the Rangers out-hit the A’s 7-3.

–Field Level Media

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