The Texas Rangers (70-69) won a three-game series against the Atlanta Braves (61-77) at SunTrust Park to conclude a brief road trip. This served as the lone series between Texas and Atlanta.
Ranger shortstop Elvis Andrus got the ball rolling with a solo home run, his 19th, in the first inning. Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner doubled the Rangers’ lead with a sacrifice fly in the second. Second baseman Rougned Odor scored on a passed ball, later in the inning. In the third inning, third baseman Joey Gallo used his third triple to drive-in a run. Odor knocked-in Gallo with a sacrifice fly, following Gallo’s triple. In the fifth, right fielder Nomar Mazara hit a solo home run, his 17th, and Odor hit a two-run home run, his 28th, to finish the Rangers’ game-one offense.
The Rangers’ 8-run game included 11 hits, three from center fielder Carlos Gomez.
Cashner earned his ninth win with six innings of two-run ball and five strikeouts. Rookie Nick Gardewine pitched a scoreless seventh, following Cashner’s quality start. Then, pitcher Nick Martinez finished the game with two scoreless innings. Texas won 8-2.
Tuesday’s game was postponed to Wednesday, causing the series to end with a doubleheader.
Andrus started the doubleheader with a solo home run, his 20th, in the first inning. Andrus drove-in another run with a RBI single, two innings after his home run. In the fourth inning, catcher Brett Nicholas used his three double to cut the Braves’ lead to 4-3. Pinch hitter Will Middlebrooks used his first triple as a Ranger to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead, following Nicholas’ double. Middlebrooks scored later in the inning on a wild pitch. First baseman Mike Napoli hit a two-run home run, his 29th, and Nicholas hit a RBI single for a two-run fifth. Right fielder Shin-Soo Choo hit a RBI double, his 16th, and Gomez hit a sacrifice fly in the sixth to give the Rangers a seven-run lead. Andrus offensively finished the Rangers’ afternoon with a RBI double, his 38th, in the eighth.
Andrus’ home run was part of a four-hit game and made him the third Ranger with at least 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season since 2011.
Ranger starting pitcher Miguel González struggled in his Ranger debut, allowing four earned runs on two home runs and a RBI single in three innings. Rookie Austin Bibens-Dirkx pitched three scoreless innings, following González’s poor start. Then, Gardewine and reliever Jason Grilli each allowed a run in one inning. Former starter Tyson Ross allowed two runs and got two outs in the ninth before closer Alex Claudio got an out to end game two. Texas won 12-8.
Mazara used his 18th home run to cut the Braves’ series-finale lead to 5-2 in the third inning. Gomez hit a RBI double, his 20th, following Mazara’s double. Then, Ranger ace Cole Hamels offensively finished the series for the Rangers with a RBI groundout in the sixth.
Hamels earned five strikeouts in six innings, despite allowing five runs, four earned, on six hits and a couple of walks. Lefty Jake Diekman followed Hamels’ start with a scoreless seventh. Then, reliever Tony Barnette and Claudio pieced together a scoreless ninth. Texas lost 5-4.
The Rangers will host the New York Yankees (75-64) for three games at Globe Life Park to start a seven-game homestand, which can be heard on:
Sunday- Franchise 2 1560AM at 1:30 CT