ARLINGTON (AP) – Bartolo Colon kept the Texas Rangers close after a rough first inning in his first start since setting the record for victories by a Latin American pitcher.
His catcher helped the 45-year-old right-hander extend that mark.
Robinson Chirinos hit a go-ahead, three-run homer in the fourth while finishing with four RBIs, and Colon made it through five innings in the Rangers’ 5-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night.
Colon (7-10) retired 10 consecutive batters after allowing run-scoring doubles by A.J. Pollock and Steven Souza Jr. in the first. Pollock’s liner was misplayed in right field by Joey Gallo.
Big Sexy got his 247th career win, two more than Dennis Martinez of Nicaragua. A native of the Dominican Republic, Colon has four more victories than countryman and Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.
“He’s been doing it for so long, he knows when he gives up some runs he can come back and keep the game close,” Chirinos said. “That’s what he did tonight.”
Chirinos’ 443-foot drive into the visitors’ bullpen in left-center was his 16th homer of the season and ended Arizona right-hander Zack Greinke’s streak of nine straight starts allowing two runs or fewer. Chirinos added an RBI single in the eighth.
Ronald Guzman led off the third with his 13th homer after Greinke (12-8) retired the first six Texas hitters.
Greinke permitted six hits and four runs in 6 1/3 innings with two walks and six strikeouts while dropping his third straight start after winning his previous seven decisions.
“I think they’re the best offense in baseball the last month,” Greinke said. “So going in in their home park is going to be tough. But I made more mistakes and got behind in more counts than needed to make it a little bit tougher.”
Colon gave up four hits and three runs while setting a Texas record with his 22nd straight start with two or fewer walks. He issued one free pass and struck out three. Colon has won both his starts in August after losing all five in July.
Rangers reliever Eddie Butler retired all six batters he faced. Cory Gearrin got Eduardo Escobar on a tapper in front of the plate to end the eighth with runners at the corners in a one-run game, and Jose Leclerc struck out two in a perfect ninth for his second save.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said Adrian Beltre reinjured his left hamstring while scoring from second base on Chirinos’ single in the eighth. He was replaced at third base by Jurickson Profar in the ninth. The Rangers said Beltre, who got career hit No. 3,137, would have an MRI on Tuesday. Beltre has missed 27 games over two stints on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring.
TOP OF THE HEAP
The Diamondbacks began the night a game ahead of the Dodgers for the lead in the NL West. Los Angeles played San Francisco at home later Monday. “Our pitching has been outstanding, and that’s the reason we are where we’re at,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “I feel like we’ve earned it. Could it be better? Yeah.”
NICE SNAG, SKIP
Banister made a nifty, one-handed catch on a bouncer into the dugout from Guzman in the fourth inning, reaching above his head with his right hand. Three innings earlier, he stayed away from a smash by Escobar. Both were batting left-handed. “It was just inside my reach,” Banister said. “The first one I was not going to be able to catch. That one was coming pretty hard. That one would have hurt for a long time.”
Rangers: RHP Doug Fister is headed home for the season because his right knee strain isn’t responding to treatment as hoped. Fister hasn’t pitched since limping off the mound after throwing the first pitch of the sixth inning against Houston on June 8. RF Nomar Mazara (right thumb sprain) will play nine innings in a rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. He’s been out since July 17.
Arizona LHP Patrick Corbin (9-4, 3.15 ERA) makes his first career appearance against the Rangers in the finale of the two-game series. Texas RHP Yovani Gallardo (7-1, 6.11) has the most wins in the majors since June 23 with seven, and the highest run-support average by almost two runs at 11.43 during that same span.
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