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Eight is great: Rangers extend win streak

May 17, 2017

ARLINGTON -- For the first time this season, the Rangers are above .500. They extended their winning streak to eight games, and Andrew Cashner picked up his first win of the season, as Texas knocked off the Phillies, 9-3, on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.The Rangers jumped on Phillies

ARLINGTON -- For the first time this season, the Rangers are above .500. They extended their winning streak to eight games, and Andrew Cashner picked up his first win of the season, as Texas knocked off the Phillies, 9-3, on Wednesday night at Globe Life Park.
The Rangers jumped on Phillies starter Zach Eflin early, scoring seven runs in the first four innings before Eflin was lifted for Luis Garcia. Jared Hoying and Delino DeShields led the way with four hits each, and Shin-Soo Choo was 3-for-4 with three RBIs in his first game back since being scratched from Sunday's game against the A's with back spasms.
Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Choo, Saunders and other #ASGWorthy players

"It's very encouraging," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "Delino shows up for us, Hoying shows up for us. Choo coming back off a back issue. It's big. When you're not at full strength of regular guys … when Plan B is ready and they contribute, especially in this type of situation, kind of keeping some things going for us, it's huge. It's a great lift for a team, it gives the rest of the crew of guys great confidence to go play the game the way they need to."
Cashner gave up eight hits in seven innings -- one of which was a two-run home run by Michael Saunders that broke up the shutout in the seventh. But Cashner induced three double plays to minimize most of the damage.
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"He threw well," catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "His velocity was down, but when a guy's velocity is down, it makes his movement much better. He had a good sinker and kept the ball down. He did a good job."

The Phillies have lost 14 of their last 17 games since beginning the season 11-9. They got the leadoff man aboard in five of their nine at-bats, but they weren't able to capitalize for the most part.
Short outings have Phillies in a 'bad stretch'
"It's early in the season. I'm not going to assume we're this bad," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said. "I know we're not. When things go bad, they snowball. When things go good, you get that feeling you're going to win. I'm not concerned, I just don't like losing. And this is a bad stretch."

Manufactured runs get Texas rolling: The Rangers extended their lead in a wild second inning. Hoying got his first hit since being called up with a single through the right side that he hit with a 111.5 mph exit velocity, the 12th-hardest ball any Rangers player has hit this season, according to Statcast™. DeShields bunted for a hit and Eflin threw the ball past first baseman Tommy Joseph, moving Hoying up to third. Choo brought Hoying home on a sac fly to left, the second sacrifice fly of the game. Entering Wednesday, the Rangers had hit just five sacrifice flies, the sixth-fewest in the league. More >>

Hoying's first homer: With nobody out and a runner on first in the fifth, Hoying launched his first Major League home run, a 377-foot ball that ducked behind the wall in right-center field. The homer, combined with Hoying's single in the second and his double in the third, brought him a triple shy of the cycle.
"Kind of a sigh of relief," Hoying said. "Every time you hit one, it's like, 'Oof, wow that felt good.' It's just one of those feelings, you can't hardly explain it, but that one really felt good. Just a really big sigh of relief running around the bases. Just pretty exciting."

"He was good. He was a little jittery, but he has been around the Minor Leagues, pitched in Venezuela for a long time. I'm sure internally he was amped up, but he did a good job. It's always fun to catch a guy in his first outing." -- Lucroy, on Austin Bibens-Dirkx making his Major League debutMore >>
"I did a horrible job of locating the fastball, keeping them off balance, pitching inside -- I kind of veered away from that today. I fell behind hitters. I did a good job of throwing it right into their bats. I didn't do my job." -- Eflin

With nobody out in the top of the first inning, Cesar Hernandez appeared to be thrown out attempting to steal second as Odubel Herrera struck out swinging. He was called out, the Phillies challenged, and the call stood following a review. Aaron Altherr singled up the middle afterward, but Joseph struck out to end the inning.

The Phillies will try to avoid the sweep in Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Rangers. Right-hander Nick Pivetta (0-2, 6.14 ERA) gets the start. It could be his final start for the moment with right-hander Aaron Nola expected to rejoin the rotation Sunday in Pittsburgh.
Rangers: Left-hander Martin Perez (1-5, 3.89 ERA) looks to finish off the Rangers' eight-game homestand with a win and extend their eight-game win streak against the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. CT on Thursday at Globe Life Park. He's had a strong start to May, holding an 0-1 record with a 2.92 ERA in two starts this month.
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T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and listen to his podcast.