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Texas Rangers 5-2 over Washington Nationals on sluggish night for the Nats...

Andrew Cashner held the Nationals in check, and the Nats made a number of errors on a night when Tanner Roark wasn’t at his best. 5-2 Rangers in D.C.

MLB: Texas Rangers at Washington Nationals Patrick McDermott-USA TODAY Sports

Tanner Roark wasn’t sharp against his former team, as the Texas Rangers, who drafted Roark in the 25th Round of the 2008 Draft and traded him to Washington in 2010, connected for 11 hits in his six+ innings in the nation’s capital tonight, driving in five runs (two earned) before the Nationals’ starter was lifted from what ended up a 5-2 loss.

Jonathan Lucroy and Rougned Odor homered off Roark, Lucro in the fifth and Odor in the seventh, and Rangers’ starter Andrew Cashner held Washington to one run on six hits in seven innings of work on the mound in Nationals Park.

Ryan Zimmerman doubled and scored on an RBI single by Anthony Rendon in the sixth, but Odor’s blast followed a half-inning later, giving the Rangers back a four-run lead, 5-1.

That’s how it ended as the one-time Senators took the first of three in D.C., 5-2 final.

Nationals now 38-22

HERE’S HOW IT HAPPENED:

Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara connected for the fifth and sixth hits of the game off of Tanner Roark in the first two at bats of the Rangers’ third, and Andrus scored easily from third base when Jonathan Lucroy singled to center in the next at bat, making it 1-0 early in the nation’s capital.

Ryan Zimmerman and Daniel Murphy hit back-to-back, one-out singles off Andrew Cashner in the Nationals’ half of the fourth, with ZImmerman taking third on a fly to center off Murphy’s bat that Delino DeShields couldn’t corral, but they were left on base two outs later, still 1-0 Rangers after four.

Shin-Soo Choo reached on an error by Ryan Zimmerman in the first at bat of the fifth and scored two outs later when Jonathan Lucroy hit an 0-1 fastball from Roark out to left field to put the Rangers up 3-0. Lucroy’s 4th of 2017.

Joey Gallo reached on an error by Trea Turner on the right side of the infield in the shift, and Delino DeShields singled to center on a grounder Turner could only knock down. A sac bunt by Cashner moved both runners up into scoring position. Shin-Soo Choo walked to load the bases with one out, and Nomar Mazara took a two-out walk that forced in a run, 4-0.

Ryan Zimmerman lined his 19th double of the season off the DeWALT sign in left field with one down in the Nationals’ sixth and scored one out later on an RBI single to left by Anthony Rendon, who was thrown out at second to end the inning. 4-1 Rangers.

One batter later, the Rangers had a four-run lead back, however, as Rougned Odor hit a 2-0 changeup to right for a solo shot in the top of the seventh, 5-1. Odor’s ninth.

• Tanner Roark’s Line: 6.0 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 2 HRs, 97 P, 62 S, 7/2 GO/FO.

Enny Romero finished off the seventh, working around a one-out double by Joey Gallo, the third error of the game by the Nats (and second by Turner) and a base-loading walk to Choo, to keep it a 5-1 game after six and a half.

Jacob Turner tossed a scoreless top of the eighth, working around a one-out single by Lucroy.

• Andrew Cashner’s Line: 7.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 Ks, 94 P, 59 S, 10/6 GO/FO.

Blake Treinen kept if a four-run game with a scoreless ninth, and the Nationals added a run with singles by Daniel Murphy and Matt Wieters and an RBI single by Stephen Drew on a pop to center that the Rangers let fall on what should have been the final out. Final score 5-2 Rangers.

NATIONALS PREGAME NOTES:

  • Texas started the day in 4th place in the AL West, for the sixth straight day, and it’s just the second time in the last eight seasons that they’ve sat in fourth place or lower in June or later, with the last time in 2014.
  • Washington’s 38-21 record heading into tonight’s game was the NL’s best and the second-best in the majors, behind only the Houston Astros (43-18).
  • The Rangers come to D.C. winless in their last five series (0-4-1), though they won the previous four series before the current rough stretch.
  • Texas had a 9-18 record (.333 winning%) on the road heading into this weekend’s three-game set, the second-lowest road winning percentage in the AL and fourth-lowest in the majors.
  • Washington started the weekend 17-9 in Nationals Park this season, with their .654 winning percentage in D.C. the third-best home winning% in the NL.
  • Rangers’ shortstop Elvis Andrus started the night with a 12-game hit streak going, the longest current hitting streak in the majors.
  • Andrew Cashner started the night with a .223 BAA on the road thus far this season vs a .291 BAA at home in Arlington, TX.
  • Washington’s offense started the night leading the NL in AVG (.274), OBP (.342), SLG (.471), runs (327), home runs (89), extra base hits (217), hits (568) and RBIs (320).

Nationals now 38-22