ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)Adolis Garcia highlighted a three-hit, four-RBI day with a bases-clearing triple in the third inning to help the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 7-3 on Sunday.
Taylor Hearn (1-2) allowed two runs on four hits and three walks in five innings for his first victory since Sept. 12 of last season.
The Rangers scored all seven runs in the first three innings to go 3-4 in a homestand against last year’s World Series teams – 2-1 vs. Atlanta and 1-3 against the Houston Astros. The Braves have lost two straight for the fifth time this season, their longest losing streak.
”It was nice to have a lead and keep it,” said Texas third baseman Charlie Culberson, a Georgia native and former Brave. ”Nice to win a series.”
The Rangers took advantage of wildness by Dallas native Kyle Muller (0-1), who was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett and made his first start of the season. Muller walked six and allowed four singles in 2 2/3 innings to go with two stolen bases allowed and a wild pitch. Texas scored earlier in the inning on a safety-squeeze bunt by Culberson.
”Nothing seemed to go his way,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. Still, he added, ”I see improvement over last year.”
Muller gave way to Jesse Chavez with two out and the bases loaded in the third inning. Garcia lined a 2-2 sinker to the opposite field that right fielder Travis Demeritte failed to catch or trap on a dive. The ball rolled to the wall to score three.
One of Muller’s walks came on a check swing by Eli White in the second inning. When Braves pitching coach Rick Krantz visited the mound after White walked, he chatted with home plate umpire Cory Blaser, was ejected, and their conversation continued and became heated.
Muller didn’t want to discuss the ball-strike calls.
”That’s up to anyone’s discretion,” he said. ”I’m not going to put that on anybody. I could have made better pitches, and it wouldn’t have even been an issue.”
Hearn – from Royse City, about 50 miles east of Arlington – matched a season high with five innings and threw a season-most 89 pitches. Rangers starters have won consecutive starts for the first time this season.
Dansby Swanson went 2 for 4 with a double to the warning track in center field that was part of the Braves’ two-run third inning and added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
The announced sellout crowd of 38,316 – which included former President George W. Bush – was the largest at Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020 and began accommodating full capacity last year. The previous mark was the 2021 opening day gathering of 38,238.
`BIG TEX’ ON THE BIG SCREEN
The documentary ”Facing Nolan” about Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan, who pitched the last five of 27 major league seasons with the Rangers, premiered on the Globe Life Field videoboard after the game on the 31st anniversary of his seventh and final no-hitter.
Ryan said reviewing the expanse of his career ”almost made me tired.” For those who wonder if he can stay bring it at age 75, he said he ”can’t throw a lick” after hurting his right shoulder demonstrating to his grandchildren how to skip a rock.
With the Braves’ recall of Muller, RHP Bryce Elder, the resident of nearby Decatur, Texas who started Saturday night’s game, was optioned to Gwinnett. Elder won his big league debut on April 12, then lost three straight and allowed seven runs in 12 innings.
Rangers C Jonah Heim returned from the paternity list. LHP Kolby Allard was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. After the game, OF Willie Calhoun and C Sam Huff were optioned to Round Rock. Calhoun was the primary player acquired in the July 2017 trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Rangers: RHP Josh Sborz (elbow) made his second rehab outing for Round Rock on Sunday, throwing 24 pitches in 1 2/3 innings.
Braves: LHP Max Fried (2-3, 3.00 ERA) will open a four-game, three-day road series against the New York Mets on Monday.
Rangers: RHP Jon Gray (0-1, 7.00) will make his third start of the season, each previous one followed by a trip to the injured list (blister, knee) to open a two-game set at Philadelphia on Tuesday. The Phillies will start LHP Ranger Suarez (2-0, 4.41) and are 4-0 in his starts this season.
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