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Mookie Betts blast, Walker Buehler gem lead Dodgers over Rangers

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts hits a solo home run in the third inning off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning on Sunday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts hits a solo home run in the third inning off Texas Rangers starting pitcher Dane Dunning on Sunday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

June 14 (UPI) -- Mookie Betts smashed his seventh home run of the season and Walker Buehler pitched six shutout innings to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a win over the Texas Rangers in a series finale at Dodger Stadium.

Betts went 2 for 3 with three runs scored, an RBI and a walk in the 5-3 triumph Sunday in Los Angeles. Dodgers third baseman Zach McKinstry reached base four times, with three hits and a walk in four plate appearances.

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Buehler allowed just five hits and three walks, with five strikeouts to help the Dodgers hold a 5-0 lead through eight innings. The Rangers attempted to rally in the ninth frame, but the Dodgers bullpen held up and Kenley Jansen earned his 15th save of 2021.

"We are kind of banged-up and I haven't been playing very well," Betts told reporters. "I'm just happy I could help the team win."

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Betts drew a walk in the Dodgers' first at-bat of the game. He came home when shortstop Gavin Lux smacked a line drive double to center field in the next at-bat.

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Betts returned to the plate to lead off the bottom of the third frame. The four-time All-Star went down 0-2 in the count, but battled back in his second matchup with Rangers starter Dane Dunning.

Betts ended the at-bat when he sent a 3-2 Dunning sinker to right field for a 348-foot solo homer. Betts' blast had an exit velocity of 96 mph, according to Statcast.

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The Dodgers increased their lead to 4-0 on a McKinstry two-run double later in the inning.

First baseman Matt Beaty drove in the Dodgers' final run with an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Jason Martin, Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Willie Calhoun each recorded RBI singles in the ninth inning for the Rangers' only runs.

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Rangers catcher Jonah Heim and right fielder Joey Gallo recorded two hits apiece in the loss.

Betts is now hitting .253 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs this season. Buehler is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA through 13 starts.

"Nobody actively goes and tries not to play well," Betts said. "I just know on my side I'm putting in a lot of work and doing everything I can to be successful and to help the team. That's the most important thing for me."

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The Dodgers (39-26) host the Philadelphia Phillies at 10:10 p.m. EDT Monday at Dodger Stadium. The Rangers (25-41) face the Houston Astros at 8:10 p.m. EDT Tuesday at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

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