Braves left-hander Luiz Gohara took the loss in his major league debut, as he allowed six runs on four hits, with four walks and six strikeouts over four innings.
Gohara didn’t appear to be overwhelmed by the moment, but did struggle with his command at times, and three of his four walks came around to score.
Former Braves prospect Elvis Andrus belted his 20th home run of the season to welcome Gohara to the big leagues and give the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Matt Kemp gave the Braves the 2-1 lead in the bottom half, as he crushed a homer to right field following a two-out walk from Freddie Freeman.
Texas tied the game in the third inning, as a leadoff walk to pitcher Miguel Gonzalez cost Gohara a run. He eventually came around to score on a Andrus single.
The Braves offense took over again in response, as Ender Inciarte crushed a homer towards the Chop House in right field to give the Braves the lead back at 3-2. Ozzie Albies followed with a triple to right center field, and he came in to score for a 4-2 Braves lead on Freeman’s RBI single.
The Braves chased Gonzalez after three innings in his first start since coming over from the White Sox a week ago in a trade, but Austin Bibens-Dirkx scattered five hits over three scoreless innings to stem the tide and allow Texas to pull away.
The train came off the tracks for Gohara in the fourth, as he walked the first two batters of the inning. A pair of extra base hits and a wild pitch allowed the Rangers to plate four runs and gain a 6-4 edge, before Gohara’s day was finished.
Matt Wisler took over in the fifth and gave up four consecutive hits — including a two-run homer from Mike Napoli — as the Rangers scored three more runs and took a 9-4 edge.
After giving up three straight hits and a sacrifice fly to begin the sixth, Wisler was pulled and finished with a line of 1 1/3 innings, seven hits and five runs allowed.
Nick Markakis’ RBI groundout and Inciarte’s RBI single gave the Braves individual runs in the seventh and eighth innings, as Texas tacked on an eighth-inning run as well to make the score 12-6.
Pinch hitter Adonis Garcia doubled in a run in the ninth, followed by Rio Ruiz’s single to plate another run and close the gap to 12-8.
Inciarte finished Game 1 with three hits, while Freeman, Johan Camargo and catcher David Freitas had multi-hit games. The Braves used three relievers in the game, but the expanded rosters in September make that not as big of an issue during a doubleheader.
Former Brave Jason Grilli pitched the eighth inning for the Rangers.