Rangers bullpen struggles continue in 6-5 loss to Braves
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Eddie Rosario hit an early home run for Atlanta that quickly put an end to the longest scoreless streak in the majors this season, and Ronald Acuña Jr. went deep in his fourth consecutive game. That all helped set up Orlando Arcia for the deciding blow.
Arcia hit a tiebreaking solo homer with two outs in the ninth inning and the NL East-leading Braves avoided consecutive series losses for the first time this season with a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
"That was huge right there. It’s a good win going into an off day." said third baseman Austin Riley, whose RBI double an inning earlier tied the score. "He’s playing great baseball and as a teammate, he’s just unbelievable."
The Braves won two of three in Texas after getting swept in three games at Toronto last weekend. They hit five two-run homers in a 12-0 win to open the series in Texas before two more homers in a loss Tuesday night.
Adolis García went deep twice for AL West leader Texas, those solo shots extending his MLB-best RBI total to 46.
Atlanta got even at 5-5 in the eighth when Acuña had a walk and a stolen base, Ozzie Albies hit an RBI single and Riley doubled to chase reliever Josh Sborz. Arcia’s fourth homer of the season came off Brock Burke (2-2).
"Long ball hurt us in this series, no getting around it, but that’s their deal," Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. "We just made some mistakes here. ... We’ve just got to get this thing figured out in the bullpen"
Nick Anderson (2-0), the fourth Braves pitcher, worked a scoreless eighth. Raisel Iglesias had a perfect ninth for his second save.
Nathan Eovaldi got started with a 1-2-3 first inning to extend his career-best scoreless streak to 29 2/3 innings. But Riley had a leadoff single in the second before Rosario went deep, part of four consecutive hits by the Braves.
"I was battling my mechanics a little bit," Eovaldi said. "I felt like I started finding my curveball there towards the end and had a better feel for my splitter at the end as well."
After Eovaldi recorded 12 outs over an 11-batter stretch that began with a double play, Acuña led off the sixth with his 11th homer of the season to get the Braves within 4-3. That 429-foot shot to straightaway center came a night after the slugger’s 455-foot blast that hit much higher in the same area.
"You catch yourself on the edge watching every pitch because every swing you think something’s magically going to happen," Riley said. "And what he’s doing right now is incredible."
Braves starter Spencer Strider allowed four runs while striking out seven over five innings. He had entered the game with at least eight strikeouts in 12 consecutive games, the longest active streak in the majors.
García homered leading off the fourth, and an inning later added his 13th homer of the season. It was his sixth career multihomer game, and second this season — he went deep three times in a 5-for-5 game April 22 against Oakland when he drove in eight runs.
Corey Seager had a sacrifice fly in his first game for Texas since April 11. The shortstop was activated from the injured list after missing 31 games because of a left hamstring strain, and was the designated hitter for his first game back.
Marcus Semien had a triple in the seventh before Seager hit a 380-foot flyball to deep center, where Michael Harris went a long way to making a running catch with his back to the plate and his right arm fully extended over his head.
Harris also had another defensive highlight with a run-saving throw home in the fourth that got Ezequiel Duran out after Leody Taveras’ liner that still scored one run.
Braves: A day off Thursday before hosting Seattle. The expected pitching matchup for the series opener Friday is a pair of undefeated right-handers with the same first name — Bryce Elder (3-0, 1.94 ERA) for the Braves and Bryce Miller (2-0, 0.47) for the Mariners.
Rangers: After being off Thursday for the first time in 14 days, the Rangers open a three-game series at home Friday against Colorado. Martín Pérez (4-1, 4.25) starts for Texas against Kyle Freeland (4-4, 3.16).