ARLINGTON (AP) — Andrew Cashner can finally say he won in his home state of Texas. Jared Hoying took care of a couple of firsts as well.
Cashner pitched seven solid innings and Hoying had his first big league homer in his first four-hit game, helping the Rangers match the longest winning streak in the majors this year at eight games with a 9-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.
The right-hander from the Houston area also got his first win with the Rangers, who scored all nine runs in the first five innings after getting just six in the first six starts by Cashner (1-3) when the stocky 30-year-old was in the game.
Hoying was making his second start since coming up from the minors to replace center fielder Carlos Gomez, who is expected to miss at least a month with a right hamstring strain. He finished a triple shy of the cycle and scored three times.
“It’s one of those feelings you (can) hardly explain it,” Hoying said of his first homer, a two-run shot in the fifth. “It was a real sigh of relief running around the bases.”
Delino DeShields matched a career high with four hits, all singles that included two bunts and another infield hit.
Shin-Soo Choo had three hits with three RBIs among a season-high 17 hits for the Rangers, who matched the Yankees for the longest winning streak this season and are on their best run since August 2013. The defending AL West champs (21-20) are over .500 for the first time this year.
Zach Eflin (0-1) allowed 11 hits and seven runs in four innings as the Phillies dropped to 3-11 in May. The right-hander hit Joey Gallo with a pitch in the third to become the first Phillies pitcher since at least 1913 to hit a batter in five straight games.
The Rangers turned four double plays in the first five innings behind Cashner, who had gone winless in three previous home starts for Texas and seven appearances as an opponent in Houston over his eight-year career. The Phillies also turned four double plays.
“They’re still chirping in the dugout and they’re still playing hard, but when things go bad, things snowball,” Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. “When things are going bad, nothing goes right.”
Michael Saunders ended Cashner’s shutout bid in the seventh with his fourth homer of the season, a two-run shot.
The Rangers scored their first three runs on sacrifice flies and the fourth on a wild pitch before Choo’s two-run single made it 6-0 in the third.
Eflin walked two in the first inning after allowing just one walk in his previous 31 innings, then had the hit batter and the run-scoring wild pitch in the third. “It’s more of a focus thing,” he said. “I think I could have easily locked it in and got the ball down, but for some reason I couldn’t figure it out.”
DEBUT AT 32
Austin Bibens-Dirkx made his big league debut at 32 out of the Texas bullpen in the ninth, allowing a run after hitting the first batter he faced, Aaron Altherr. Bibens-Dirkx spent 12 years in the minors and pitched in an independent league last year. He had been on the active roster for 10 days and got his first strikeout. “Well worth the wait I’m sure for him,” manager Jeff Banister said. “Well worth the wait for all of our guys.”
Phillies: LF Howie Kendrick, who has been on the disabled list for a month with a right abdominal strain, is still experiencing soreness. But Mackanin hopes he can take batting practice this weekend in Pittsburgh and possibly return next week after a brief rehab stint.
Rangers: Choo returned after missing two games with back spasms. He was surprised he felt good enough to play, although he said the injury initially didn’t feel as severe as back inflammation that prompted one of his four trips to the DL last season.
Phillies: Rookie RHP Nick Pivetta (0-2, 6.14 ERA) makes his fourth career start in the series finale with the Rangers. The 24-year-old has allowed 23 hits and five walks in 14 2/3 innings.
Rangers: LHP Martin Perez (1-5, 3.89 ERA) has received an AL-low 2.25 runs per nine innings from the Texas offense. He’s 0-4 with a 4.88 ERA over his past five outings.
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