Since winning six in a row last week, the Braves have now lost five of their last six games. Consistency is overrated, I guess.
Atlanta committed three errors and struck out 15 times on Saturday afternoon and had to battle a rain delay of over two hours. Derek Lowe made the start and despite shaky defense in the early innings, he gutted out five innings against a potent Rangers lineup. He allowed four runs (three earned) to score on seven hits and no walks. He struck out two. Matt Harrison, who came to Texas in the Teixeira trade of '07, worked 6.1 innings and allowed just three hits and a walk.
Elvis Andrus, who also went to Texas in the Teixeira deal, drove in the first run of the game with an RBI-single in the first inning. Jason Heyward made an error on the play, allowing Andrus to move to third. Josh Hamilton followed up by driving in another run courtesy of an error by Freddie Freeman to give Texas a 2-0 lead. The Rangers added on two more runs in the fourth.
Jordan Schafer got Atlanta on the board in the third inning, this time on an error by left fielder Nelson Cruz. Derek Lowe, who had previously doubled, came around to score. Dan Uggla then doubled down the left field wall to make the score 4-2. Brian McCann added on a solo-home run in the sixth to cut the lead to one.
Things got wild in the eighth. Jordan Schafer reached base on a throwing error by Darren Oliver and moved into scoring position when the ball trickled to the dugout wall. Dan Uggla smashed a ball to deep center field that just barely missed going for a home run to drive in Schafer to tie the game. Jason Heyward ripped a ball down the first base line, but it was right to Michael Young. Brian McCann walked, but Wilkin Ramirez struck out to end the threat.
After a scoreless ninth, the Rangers took advantage of Scott Proctor. Ian Kinsler doubled to lead off the inning, and after an Elvis Andrus groundout and an intentional walk to Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre broke the tie with an RBI-single to center field. The Braves came up in the bottom half trailing 5-4, but closer Neftali Feliz, who also went to Texas in the Teixeira trade, worked a 1-2-3 inning to end the game.
The Braves will try to avoid the sweep tomorrow afternoon. It'll be Jair Jurrjens against Alexi Ogando in a stellar pitching matchup.