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Drew Smith allows home run that leads to Rangers’ win over Mets

Drew Smith has only given up six home runs this season, but at least half of them have been costly. He served up his sixth of the season Tuesday night at Citi Field in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.

The Rangers took the series with the victory, handing the Mets their second straight series loss and their fourth loss in the last five games. Smith replaced left-hander Jose Quintana in the seventh inning. His second pitch to leadoff hitter Mitch Garver went over the left-center fence to break a scoreless tie and effectively hand the Rangers (75-57) the win.

Smith has always been adept at elevating his fastball, but this one didn’t get enough rise and the 94.8 MPH pitch was about belt-high.

The right-hander (4-5) now has two losses and a blown save as a result of home runs and it was the second time this season he allowed long balls in back-to-back outings. Sunday against the Los Angeles Angels, Smith gave up one up to briefly put the Halos ahead, but the Mets came back and walked it off.

Quintana and left-hander Andrew Heaney battled through a scoreless duel. They both exited without giving up an earned run with similar lines. Quintana went six innings and allowed three hits, walked three and struck out five. Heaney went 5 1/3 innings, allowed five hits, one walk and struck out seven.

Quintana worked quickly and efficiently, never facing much traffic. But yet again, the Mets (60-73) failed to reward him with a win. Through eight starts this season, Quintana boasts a 3.26 ERA, but a 1-5 record.

The Mets forced Texas to go to the bullpen in the sixth inning after Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil reached, but right-hander Chris Stratton (2-1) retired Pete Alonso and Francisco Alvarez to get the Rangers out of the frame unscathed. Alvarez sunk deeper into his August slump, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts (.143 in August).

Right-hander Phil Bickford allowed a run in the ninth inning. That one run made all the difference as Mark Vientos homered off former Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman (four saves) with two outs to extend the bottom of the ninth. But Danny Mendick hit a grounder to shortstop for an easy final out.

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