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Dane Dunning Twirls Gem in Rangers Win

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Texas Rangers pitcher Dane Dunning during game play. | Image by Juan Figueroa, The Dallas Morning News

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Texas Rangers hurler Dane Dunning tacked together one of the better pitching outings for the Rangers this season. Dunning limited the defending world champ Braves to three hits, one earned run, and seven strikeouts in 7.2 innings of work and picked up his first win of the season in a 3-1 victory on April 30.

The victory moves the Rangers to a record 7-14 and snaps a four-game losing streak.

“It was the Dane Dunning show,” Rangers Head Coach Chris Woodward told MLB.com. “You could see the intent from the first inning. If anything, I think that set the tone for our entire ballclub. I know he struck out the side, but it was just the way he moved down the mound. Frankly, that’s what we needed. I wasn’t shocked by the outcome after seeing that first inning, just seeing how well he executed and the life on the pitches. That’s as good as I’ve ever seen. He won the game for us.”

Corey Seager hit a home run for the third consecutive game, his fourth of the year. Seager’s solo shot came in the bottom of the first inning and followed three consecutive foul balls. The fourth pitch to the 28-year-old shortstop saw a 91 MPH cut-fastball that he belted into the rightfield stands, giving Texas an early 1-0 lead.

Dane Dunning got his lone earned run in the game on a single hit by Ronald Acuna Jr., scoring Travis Demeritte and knotting the game at 1-1. Dunning would then retire the next 15-straight Braves batters before being relieved by Dennis Santana, who proceeded to get Acuna Jr. to ground out and end the top of the eighth inning.

Dunning, coming off a 2020 season in which he compiled a 5-10 record, told MLB.com his approach to starts this season helped in his outing against the Atlanta Braves.

“It’s going into the first inning and feeling like I’m closing out the game instead of starting it out,” Dunning said. “It’s also in my bullpens, throwing a bit more offspeed in there and getting that feel and command early on with the offspeed. I feel like it’s helping a bunch. Other than that, it’s just a simple gameplan of how we’re going to attack each hitter.”

Rangers Outfielder Zach Reks earned his first MLB hit and RBI in the fourth inning, and Sam Huff, the 24-year-old right-handed catcher, added an RBI single in the second on the way to the 3-1 win.

Joe Barlow earned his first save of the season after pitching a perfect ninth inning to close out the contest.

Attendance at Globe Life Field was 36,097, and the game lasted just two hours and sixteen minutes.

The Rangers and Braves retake the field on Sunday, May 1, at 1:35 p.m. ET.

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