ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Texas Rangers starter Jon Gray just kept getting the sign from catcher Jonah Heim and filling the strike zone with heaters, sliders and a few changeups against the Washington Nationals.

Gray retired 22 of the last 23 batters he faced while allowing only three singles over eight innings, and the Rangers won 7-1 on Tuesday night to end the Nationals' four-game winning streak.

“Just trusting his stuff and he's going right at these guys,” Heim said.

“He was on top of his game,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “Just was solid work throughout the game.”

Josh Smith and Leody Taveras homered for the defending World Series champion Rangers (16-14), who have won back-to-back games for only the second time since April 6.

Coming off a four-game sweep at Miami when they scored 33 runs, the Nationals (14-15) missed a chance to get over .500 for the first time since July 1, 2021.

Gray struck out three without a walk after not getting past six innings in any of his previous five starts. The right-hander threw 72 of his 98 pitches for strikes before rookie Cole Winn pitched a perfect ninth.

“It was just, being more comfortable being over the middle of the plate,” Gray said. “First four or five games, we've kind of been off the plate, on the plate, on the plate, off the plate. Just getting behind guys, not really getting deep into games. ... I just hit a point where I was kind of sick of it. I would rather give up a home run than walk a dude.”

Washington starter MacKenzie Gore (2-3) struck out seven, walked one and allowed two runs and five hits over five innings.

CJ Abrams led off the game with an infield single to extend his on-base streak to 16 games. After he scored on a two-out single by Luis García Jr., Gray retired 12 in a row until a two-out in the fifth, then set down his last 10 batters.

“He got a lot of called strikes down, the slider was really, really good," Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. "Everything was down. We couldn’t do anything with it.”

The Rangers got even at 1 in the fourth after Nathaniel Lowe had an infield single with a slow high chopper over the mound on the 10th pitch he saw. He scored on a single by Heim.

They went ahead in the fifth when Marcus Semien tripled and scored on slugger Corey Seager's swinging dribbler just in front of the plate.


Smith's second homer of the season came in the sixth. Lowe had an RBI single after Semien's double in the seventh, and Taveras hit a two-run homer to straightaway center in the eighth.


Nationals: Martinez said RHP Josiah Gray (right elbow/forearm flexor strain) is progressing. He says the pitcher has increased his throwing distance to 120 feet, is working on some mechanics on the mound and doing forearm strengthening.

Rangers: RF Adolis García stayed in the game after being hit on his right hand by a 96.7 mph fastball from Gore when checking his swing in the fifth. The slugger grabbed at his hand and was in the opposite on-deck circle squatting in obvious pain when an athletic trainer and Bochy got to him. García said afterward that he was OK. ... RHP Max Scherzer (offseason back surgery) had his second scheduled rehab start scratched because of thumb soreness.


Trevor Williams (2-0, 2.70 ERA) pitches for Washington in the middle game of the series Wednesday night. The Rangers go with left-hander Andrew Heaney (0-3, 6.26).



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