ARLINGON — The Braves’ offense was firing on all cylinders in the series finale against Texas at Globe Life Field, sparking a late comeback in a 6-5 victory by the Rangers and Atlanta’s first series win over Texas since 2003.
Eddie Rosario got the party started early with a two-run blast in the second inning, driving in Austin Riley after a walk. Rosario’s homer capped a 29 2/3-inning scoreless inning off Rangers starter Nathan Eovaldi.
“It could be anybody,” Riley said of the Atlanta rally threat. “For Rosario to prepare his voice like this, [it’s huge] Because they know it will be a good game between them [Spencer] Strider and Eovaldi. We look forward to those types of matches. That’s why we come to the campus every day. It was nice to see Rosario out there swinging the bat.
Unexpectedly, the Rangers also scored a few early-start runs, taking advantage of a characteristically weak start from Strider.
In the fourth inning, Adolis Garcia drilled an opposite-field solo homer to put Texas on the board. Following a walk by Jonas Heim and a single by Robbie Grossman, Ezequiel Duran doubled to right field to tie the game. Later in the game, Leodi Taveras hit an RBI single to give the Rangers their first lead of the night at 3-2.
The following frame, Garcia took Strider deep again, launching a center-cut fastball 401 feet into the Rangers’ bullpen.
It’s the first time in his career that Strider has hit multiple home runs in the same game.
Strider was tagged for four earned runs on six hits over five innings, finishing the night with seven strikeouts — snapping his 12-game hitting streak of 8+.
“I didn’t really have a good race,” Strider said. “And sometimes you don’t feel good. They put limits on how you compete or what you’re doing out there and I didn’t feel good. [That] doesn’t matter [though]. You don’t always feel good. in order to, [I’ve just] You have to know how to get out. There are many ways to do that, and I’ll have to choose it and do it another time.
Thankfully for Strider, the offense had a few more fireworks in store.
With Atlanta up 4-2 in the sixth, Ronald Acuna Jr. cut the deficit to one run with a solo home run for the Thunder – his fourth straight game with a long ball. The homer had an exit velocity of 105 mph and traveled 429 feet over the center field wall.
“What he’s done is unbelievable,” Riley said of Acuna. “You catch yourself on the edge [your seat] Watching every swing, because you think something magical is about to happen. [He’s] Just unbelievable.”
Acuna now has 11 home runs on the year to go along with his 18 stolen bases, putting him on pace to become the first player in history to hit 30+ home runs and swipe 60+ stolen bases in a season. Acuna also joins Eric Davis (1987) and Barry Bonds (1990) in a unique group of players to record 30+ home runs and 50+ stolen bases in a season.
“He’s the best player I’ve ever seen,” Strider said of Acuna. “I don’t know what else to say [about his production]. Words can’t really do it justice. He’s the best player in the game right now and I’m happy he’s in our team.
But that “anybody, anytime” mentality resurfaced as the Giants set up a rematch in the eighth inning.
Acuna started things off with a walk and quickly swiped second base. Then, with Acuna in scoring position, Ozzie Albies laced an RBI single to right-center, before Riley ripped a game-tying double to left-center.
That set up Orlando Arcia’s clutch go-ahead homer off the Rangers’ Brock Burke in the ninth inning.
“We’ve been struggling lately, so it’s good to get this win,” Arcia said through interpreter Franco Garcia. “This team is destined for great things.”