Rangers win MLB-best 9th game in a row, 8-4 over Phillies
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ARLINGTON, Texas — A clean sweep at home for the Texas Rangers, who are suddenly scoring plenty of runs for all of their pitchers and now have the longest winning streak in the majors this season.
Ryan Rua hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in the fifth, Martin Perez finally got some run support and the Rangers stretched their winning streak to nine games with an 8-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.
"We don't change. We stay aggressive, on the mound, at the plate, on the basepaths, defensively," Rua said. "We're playing pretty good right now."
The Rangers swept through an eight-game home stand against three teams, only their second time in franchise history to do that. Their overall winning streak, which started with an 11-0 win at San Diego on May 9, is the longest in the majors this season.
"We win a couple of games and I think that momentum carried over, and kept carrying over, and you keep winning and winning and you don't want to lose," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "It's always great when you keep finding a way."
The Rangers have their longest winning streak since 12 in a row in July 2011. The only time they have won more was their team-record 14 straight in May 1991, and their only other eight-game undefeated home stand was in May 2005.
Philadelphia led 2-0 before Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor had consecutive two-out RBI singles off reliever Joely Rodriguez (1-2) in the fifth. Rua followed with his third homer, lining a shot that just cleared the 8-foot wall in right field.
Perez (2-5) struck out eight with no walks in seven innings. The Rangers had scored two or fewer runs for the lefty in his previous six starts.
With a 9-3 win Wednesday night, when Texas scored all nine runs for first-time winner Andrew Casher after only six runs in his first six starts.
On his 28th birthday Thursday, a day after a four-hit game with his first career homer, Jared Hoying had a bunt single to start the sixth. He eventually scored on Andrus' double before Nomar Mazara's two-run single chased Rodriguez, who retired only two of the 10 batters he faced.
Maikel Franco's solo homer in the fifth put the Phillies up 2-0, after his earlier sacrifice fly that followed Michael Saunders' triple . Tommy Joseph hit a two-run homer in the ninth in Philadelphia's 15th loss in 18 games.
"We need to step it up. We're better than what we're going through right now," manager Pete Mackanin said. "I can't make excuses. We just got to hit better and pitch better."
FAN HIT BY FOUL BALL
A girl sitting in the second deck of seats down the right-field line was struck on the head by a foul ball hit by Rangers slugger Joey Gallo in the fifth. She appeared to reach up for the ball before getting struck. Medical personnel tended to her at her seat for several minutes before walking up the stairs with her. The team had no updates on her condition.
BACK TO TRIPLE-A
Phillies rookie Nick Pivetta gave up three hits and one run in 4 2-3 innings. But he threw 107 pitches with five strikeouts and four walks, and was sent back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. "Just keep working hard," said Pivetta, who made four big-league starts. "You've got stuff to work on, just limit your pitches."
With Odor batting in the second, the Phillies had a defensive shift with 3B Andres Blanco lined up near the regular shortstop spot. Odor hit a foul pop, and Blanco ran a long way to make a sliding catch in foul territory near the seats.
Phillies: Saunders left the game in the sixth inning because of left groin tightness.
Rangers: RHP Tyson Ross (thoracic outlet syndrome recovery) was scheduled to join the team in Detroit after a 65-pitch outing in Arizona, when he struck out five with no walks while allowing six hits and two runs in four innings.
Phillies: Jeremy Hellickson, 0-1 with a 7.90 ERA in three May starts, goes for the Phillies in a series opener Friday night at Pittsburgh.
Rangers: After the undefeated home stand, Texas plays its next nine games on the road. A.J. Griffin (4-0) starts the series opener at Detroit on Friday night.
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