Nathaniel Lowe starting to go deep for the Rangers, who are trying to get on track

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Nathaniel Lowe pulled a high 71.3 mph changeup into the seats in right field to quickly put the Texas Rangers ahead to stay. He then went the opposite way in his next at-bat, hitting a 96.5 mph fastball that just cleared the wall in left field.

“I don’t care which direction they go as long as they’re over the yellow line,” Lowe said.

Lowe’s first multihomer game in three years and one day backed up Nathan Eovaldi’s one-hit ball over seven innings as the Rangers beat the San Diego Padres 7-0 on Tuesday night to end an 11-game losing streak in the series.

The first baseman has four homers over his past six games after going deep only twice in his first 58 games. Lowe missed much of spring training and the first 21 games of the regular season because of a right oblique strain.

“It’s obvious he sees the ball pretty good right now. It’s good to see a guy that, he’s one of our core players, come around,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “That’s encouraging that now he’s swinging the bat the way he is. … Good hitters get hot, and you see a lot of good things. And I think that’s what you’re seeing with Nate.”

Lowe has multiple hits in three consecutive games, and in six of his last 11, to raise his batting average 20 points to to .269. He has driven in eight runs over the past three games.

And he’s driving the ball. His homer in the first put Texas up 2-0 against the Padres, and it was 5-0 after he hit another two-run shot two innings later.

“First basemen that don’t hit homers don’t stick around often,” Lowe said. “I value my job and my team values this job. And the team needs me to drive the ball to win games. So it’s been nice to be able to come through this last week and get the ball out of the yard.”

The Rangers (39-46) have now had consecutive games, and wins, with seven extra-base hits. The first was in the series finale at Baltimore on Sunday night that included rookie Wyatt Langford’s cycle and ended a six-game losing streak that had dropped the reigning World Series champions to a season-worst nine-games under .500.

Padres starter Dylan Cease gave up six of those extra-base hits in the homestand opener for Texas.

“Good hitting’s contagious. Bad hitting, the same way,” Lowe said. “We haven’t had that consistent stretch where we’ve really gotten a chance to steamroll teams, and for us to put up a bunch of earned runs on a top-tier starter tonight was a really good sign.”



Stephen Hawkins, The Associated Press

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