WASHINGTON — Adolis García and Corey Seager homered, rookie Cody Bradford earned his first major league victory, and the Texas Rangers defeated the Washington Nationals 7-2 Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.
Garcia and Josh Jung each drove in two runs for Texas, which had dropped six of eight. The Rangers assured themselves of entering the All-Star break with at least a share of the AL West lead.
“It starts with us with just keeping the line moving, as we say,” Texas manager Bruce Bochy said. “Keep things moving, and we did a much better job. We took our walks and guys put the ball in play with two strikes, and good things can happen.”
Joey Meneses hit two homers for Washington, which has lost five in a row and has dropped 15 of 16 at Nationals Park since June 3. The last-place Nationals are an NL-worst 13-32 at home.
Seager and García both homered in the seventh inning off reliever Joan Adon, who was making his first major league appearance in exactly one year. García was named a starting outfielder for Tuesday’s All-Star Game in Seattle earlier in the day, which put Texas in line to become the first team since the 1976 Cincinnati Reds to have five position players start an All-Star Game.
Seager has homered on back-to-back days and had his fifth multihit outing in seven games this month. He is 18 for 41 (.439) during a 10-game hitting streak.
“He’s one of the best hitters I’ve had,” Bochy said. “That’s how good he is. He’s got discipline up there. He’s got a knack of just making hard contact.”
Bradford (1-1) allowed one run — Meneses’ shot in the first — over five innings to secure a win in his seventh career appearance and fifth start.
“It feels great,” Bradford said. “I put in a lot of hard work to get this one. It was hot and sweaty and I felt like I earned it, finally.”
Meneses, who entered with only two homers and none since May 7, blasted reliever Glenn Otto’s first pitch to left-center to lead off the sixth.
Texas scored twice in the first off Trevor Williams (5-5) on García’s grounder and Jonah Heim’s RBI single.
The Rangers had three consecutive hits with two outs in the fifth, capped by Jung’s two-run bloop single to make it 4-1.
Williams allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out five. He threw a season-high 110 pitches a day after Washington needed its bullpen to work 8 2/3 innings thanks in part to a second-inning rain delay.
“I can’t say enough about what Trevor did,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “We needed that, big time. Like I said before the game, he’s a true veteran. He knows he had to go out there, and he knows he had to take the ball.”
Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams started in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career, a move Martinez said he planned to stick with. Abrams was 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base.
Washington went 0 for 3 with runners in scoring position. The Nationals are 7 for 42 in those situations during their skid.