Rangers Lose a Heartbreaker to Braves

Braves Rangers
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images)

Braves 6, Rangers 5

ARLINGTON, Tex. (May 17) — The Texas Rangers lost their series finale against the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday by a final score of 6–5. A two-homer night for Adolis Garcia helped the Rangers’ cause, but they ultimately fell short. The Rangers’ record for the season now sits at 26–17, and they hold a two-game lead over the Houston Astros atop the AL West. After a much-needed off day on Thursday, the Rangers begin a three-game set on Friday against the Colorado Rockies. First pitch of the series opener is scheduled for 7:05 pm Central. Right-hander Karl Kauffman will be making his major league debut for the Rockies. The Rangers, meanwhile, will be sending lefty Martin Perez (4–1, 4.25 ERA) to the hill in that one.

Two More Homers for Garcia

The Braves broke the scoreless seal in the top of the second. With Austin Riley on base after a single, Eddie Rosario sent a ball to right to give the Braves a 2–0 lead. The Rangers got on the board in the bottom of the fourth thanks to Adolis Garcia’s first home run of the evening. Later in the frame, Ezequiel Duran plated Jonah Heim to tie the game with a double to right. Heim had walked moments before.  Then Leody Taveras provided another spark by driving in Robbie Grossman with a single to center. In the bottom of the fifth, Garcia deposited his second home run of the evening to right-center to extend the Rangers’ lead to 4–2.

Wednesday marked the sixth career multi-homer game for Garcia. It was also his second game of the year where he went yard more than once. He homered three times on April 22 against the Oakland Athletics. Meanwhile, the Braves started their comeback in the top of the sixth with a solo shot to center by Ronald Acuña Jr. Then in the bottom of the seventh, the Rangers got an insurance run thanks to sacrifice fly by Corey Seager that brought home Marcus Semien, who had tripled earlier in the inning.

Late Offense for Braves

The Braves didn’t go quietly on Wednesday. In the top of the eighth, Acuña Jr. scored on a single to right by Ozzie Albies. Austin Riley drove in Albies right away with a line-drive double to center. This extra base hit tied the game at 5–5. The Braves scored the winning run thanks to the bat of Orlando Arcia. He belted a solo home run to right-center to secure the win, and the series, for the Braves. The Rangers’ bullpen fell apart in the late innings, as two of those last three runs were allowed by righty Josh Sborz. Their final run was given up by lefty Brock Burke.

Scoreless Innings Streak Ends for Eovaldi

Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi took his second no-decision of the season (7 IP, 5 H, 3R-ER, 2 BB, 5 SO, 2 HR, 93 pitches/60 strikes) after exiting the game holding a 5–3 advantage. He saw his MLB-leading scoreless innings streak end at 29 2/3 innings after allowing the two-run homer to Rosario in the top of the second. His streak finishes ranked T5th-longest in Texas Rangers history (also Jeff Zimmerman, 5/25-8/ 2/99). It was Eovaldi’s sixth-straight quality start for the Rangers this season. This marks the longest stretch of consecutive quality starts since Martin Perez tossed nine straight QS from 4/23-6/5/22.

The home run allowed to Rosario was only the second home run allowed by Eovaldi this season and his first since allowing a solo shot to Vinnie Pasquantino on April 12 against the Kansas City Royals. Eovaldi still holds a four-game winning streak dating back to April 18 against the Royals. Furthermore, the Rangers own a 5–3 record when he starts. On the other side, Braves starter Spencer Strider took no decision after leaving in position to take the loss. He allowed multiple homers for the first time in his major league career (both by Adolis García). Strider gave up season-high six hits with a season-low seven strikeouts. He matched season highs with three walks and four earned runs.

Seager’s Return

Rangers shortstop Corey Seager was activated from the 10-day Injured List before Wednesday’s game (hamstring injury). This was Seager’s first appearance in a game for the Rangers since April 11 against the Royals. He went 0-for-4 with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, increasing the Rangers’ brief 5–3 lead after the Marcus Semien triple.

Postgame Comments

Rangers manager Bruce Bochy was asked about the back end of the bullpen in his postgame media session. He said “That’s evident, with how it’s been going. We were trying to get it right. Sborzy (Josh Sborz) is throwing well, and we’re mixing it up. Ultimately, the long ball hurt us in this series. Nate (Eovaldi) threw a great game for us as well, but the long ball hurt us as well as the walks.”

 

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