ARLINGTON — Aroldis Chapman earned his first win since leaving for the Texans, hitter Josh Smith scored on a roaring Pete Fairbanks pitch in the ninth inning and the Rangers beat the Tampa Bay Rays 3-2 on Monday.
Chapman (5-2), who arrived last month from Kansas City, had the fastest Rangers pitches since 2015 (the statcast era) at 102.8 mph while striking out all three batters in the ninth.
Rookie star Josh Jung led off the bunt with a double and was replaced by Smith, who moved into third by two on a home run to Nathaniel Lowe. 1-1 Fairbanks (0-3) swept the pitch in front of Mitch Garver goalkeeper Christian Bethancourt to allow Smith to score.
The Rangers took first place in the series against the division leaders and are 4-0 since the All-Star break. Three of those wins came with touchdowns after the sixth inning.
For the Rays, Cuban Yandy Diaz hits 4-1 with one run, and Randy Aruzarena makes it 3-0 with an RBI. Dominican Wanderer Franco 3-0, Jose Seri 4-1. Panamanian Christian Betancourt 3-0.
For the Cuban Rangers Adulis Garcia 4-0. Dominican Ezequiel Duran 3-1 with a run scored and two RBIs, Leodi Taveras 3-0.
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