ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Corey Seager homered in his third straight game, Dane Dunning allowed one run over a career-high 7 2/3 innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 3-1 on Saturday night.
Seager’s solo homer gave Texas its first run in the first inning since opening day. The Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak.
“He smoked that ball,” Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. “We felt better. The other team’s playing from behind right from the beginning.”
Dunning (1-1) won for the first time since last Aug. 2, allowing three hits. He struck out five of Atlanta’s first seven batters and retired 14 straight before a one-out double in the eighth by Adam Duvall over the glove of left fielder Zach Reks, playing his first big league game this season.
Dunning left with runners on first and third with two out in the eighth. Dennis Santana retired Ronald Acuña Jr., playing his second game this season since being activated Thursday from the injured list, on a full-count grounder to shortstop.
Joe Barlow pitched a perfect ninth for his first save of the season.
Acuña singled home Atlanta’s only run.
Dunning’s seven strikeouts equaled a season high in making the longest start by a Texas starter this season. He’d struggled in first innings during his young career, with a 7.25 ERA and the most homers allowed of any inning (8).
He struck out the side looking in the first and had two swinging strikeouts among the first seven batters.
Dunning credited his change of mindset.
“Going in the first inning almost like I’m closing out the game,” he said.
“You could see the intensity in the first inning,” Woodward said. “It was like, ‘I’m coming at you.’ It just sets the tone in a lot of ways for our entire ballclub.”