Nathaniel Lowe didn’t want to steal the thunder from his brother Josh’s big day. Lowe had three hits and missed a cycle by a home run as the Texas Rangers defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-5 Wednesday to match a season high with their fourth consecutive win.
The big news in the Lowe family was the major league debut of younger brother Josh with Nathaniel’s former team, the Tampa Bay Rays. He was in the Rays’ starting lineup, batting eighth and playing right field, versus the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on Wednesday night. Nathaniel had a shot at the cycle in the ninth but grounded out.
“I saved the homer for him,” Lowe said of his brother. “I didn’t want to take his hits away.” The Rangers (51-88) matched their longest winning streak of the season. Arizona fell a season-low 50 games under .500 at 45-95.
The Diamondbacks have lost five consecutive, all at home, and 10 of 11 overall.
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Lowe tripled to drive in a run in the fourth, then scored on Nick Solak’s single that put the Rangers ahead for good at 3-2 against Luke Weaver (3-4). He singled to start a two-run sixth and doubled leading off the eighth, scoring the first of three runs in that inning.
Solak had a 16-pitch at-bat versus Arizona reliever Jake Faria.
With one out in the sixth, Solak was down 0-2, fouled off 11 pitches and worked the count full before hitting a slow roller to short and then beating it out. Lowe watched the whole thing from first base and had a good view because manager Chris Woodward didn’t send him on any of the pitches.
“After I scored I thanked Woody because that’s 11 times I might have had to take off,” Lowe said. “For (Solak) to do that and beat out an infield single, it was really cool to watch.” Woodward concurred, calling Solak’s effort a “goose-bump at-bat.” “There’s so many good things that have been happening,” Woodward said.
“We just out-grinded them.” With 22 games left, Arizona is in danger of surpassing the franchise record of 111 losses set in 2004. The Diamondbacks are on pace for 110. “We’re not here to set records,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I just care about winning the next game.”
Lovullo acknowledged the challenges of a season that has them battling with Baltimore to avoid the majors’ worst record. “I don’t think anybody in this clubhouse has been through anything like this in their career,” Lovullo said. “There’s not a thing we can do about it. We got to keep fighting.”
Jose Trevino drove in three runs with a fielder’s choice and a two-run single for Texas. Jharel Cotton (1-0) pitched one inning and was credited with the win after starter Kohei Arihara came out after 4 2/3 innings. Joe Barlow, the eighth Rangers pitcher, got the last out for his fourth save.
David Peralta and Nick Ahmed homered for the Diamondbacks. Leody Taveras, who turned 23 on Wednesday, was the first baserunner for Texas against Weaver. He led off the fourth with a triple to the 413-foot sign in center and scored on Isaiah Kiner-Falefa’s bouncer to third.
Solak had two hits, a walk and a stolen base. Pinch hitters Yohel Pozo and Jason Martin each contributed doubles to multiple-run innings for the Rangers. Arihara gave up four hits and two runs while striking out three in 4 2/3 innings in his ninth start in his first MLB season after pitching six years for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Japan’s Pacific League.
Weaver lasted five innings, permitting four hits and three runs and striking out four.
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