ARLINGTON, Texas – Rookie Josh Jung hit the third of three multi-run home runs for Texas in the middle innings and the Rangers overcame a 5-0 deficit to beat the Miami Marlins 9-8 on Saturday for their fifth consecutive victory.
Robbie Grossman hit a three-run homer in the fourth, and Corey Seager had a two-run homer in the fifth preceding Jung’s first-pitch, two-run shot.
With Houston’s loss on Saturday, the Rangers lead the AL West by 2 1/2 games over the defending World Series champion Astros.
The Rangers went into play leading the majors averaging 5.75 runs per game and fell one short of their 23rd double-digit performance.
“When other teams put up runs, we’re putting up runs right back,” said Jung, who has 22 homers and 67 RBI.
The Marlins have lost three straight but, with Cincinnati’s loss on Saturday, remain a half-game out of the NL’s final wild-card spot.
Jon Gray (7-5) earned his first victory since June 2, allowing five runs — three earned — on six hits and two walks. Gray pitched on 11 days of rest, missing his previous rotation turn with lingering effects of a liner off his left shin July 19.
Will Smith got his 20th save in 22 opportunities despite allowing a two-run homer to Jake Burger, who was acquired from the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline. It was Burger’s 26th of the season.
Seager has three homers in four games since returning from the injured list with a sprained right thumb.
Ryan Weathers (1-7), who was recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville before the game, gave up the homers to Seager and Jung, plus RBI doubles to Nathaniel Lowe in the seventh and eighth innings.
Weathers, 23, was acquired from San Diego at the deadline. Marlins manager Skip Schumaker the plan was for Weathers to throw multiple innings in relief. He pitched 3 2/3 innings and threw 95 pitches.
“There’s a lot to like about him,” Schumaker said. “Today just some balls over the middle of the plate that he got hurt by. He’s 23 years old. He’s going to be a really good big-leaguer for a long time.”
Marlins rookie George Soriano shut out Texas on one hit through three innings in his first major league start before Adolis Garcia walked, Jung singled and Grossman homered. Soriano made 59 pitches, about what Schumaker said was planned.
Jorge Soler and Luis Arraez had RBI doubles as the Marlins scored five runs in the third and fourth innings. Nick Fortes hit a solo homer in the sixth.
MIXED BAG FOR ARRAEZ
Arraez, the major leagues’ leading hitter at .376, went 2 for 5 for his 45th multi-hit game of the season, one short of Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. for the big-league lead. He also struck out twice for only the second time this season, the other occurring on July 18.
ALL OVER THE FIELD
The Marlins’ Jon Berti began the game at third base, moved to left field in the third inning after centerfielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. left with a right hamstring cramp following a stolen-base attempt and finished at shortstop after starting shortstop Joey Wendle was removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning.
GETTING A WHIFF
Texas pitching fanned 12 batters and has double-digit strikeouts in five consecutive games. The franchise record is six, done in August 2020.
Marlins RHP Huascar Brazoban also was recalled from Jacksonville. … Marlins LHP Devin Smeltzer was designated for assignment.
Marlins: Chisholm Jr., who’s battled multiple injuries this season, said he hopes to play on Sunday. “Things just keep happening,” he said. … RHP JT Chargois (right rib-cage strain) was placed on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Friday.
Rangers: C Jonah Heim (strained left wrist) caught on the side for the first time since going on the injured list on July 28.
The series finale Sunday will match Marlins RHP Sandy Alcantara (4-9, 4.21 ERA) against Rangers LHP Andrew Heaney (8-6, 4.36). Alcantara, the reigning NL Cy Young winner, has won one of his last six starts. Heaney, 32, would match his high for wins in a season with a victory.