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Braves rally comes up short in 7-4 loss to Rangers

Atlanta scored three runs in the eighth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

MLB: Atlanta Braves at Texas Rangers Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Shuster pitched well in his return to the majors, but the Atlanta Braves came up just short in a 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers.

The Braves jumped in front in the second as Ozzie Albies reached on a single, advanced to second on a ground out by Michael Harris, and then scored on a single by Orlando Arcia for a 1-0 lead.

Shuster got off to a good start retiring four straight to start before walking Josh Jung in the second. Shuster then got Jonah Heim to bounce into a double play to end the inning. He retired the first two hitters in the third before walking Leody Taveras. However, Marcus Semien flew out to leave the runner stranded.

Atlanta threatened again in the fourth as a double by Arcia put runners at second and third with two outs, but Sam Hilliard struck out to end the inning.

Shuster ran into some trouble in the fourth. Robbie Grossman got things started with a single and then came all the way around to score on a double by Nathaniel Lowe. Adolis Garcia followed with a home run to right to give Texas its first lead of the series at 3-1. Shuster recovered and retired the next three hitters in order to escape the fourth.

Shuster retired the side in order in the fifth and would then exit before facing the heart of the Rangers’ order for a third time. He allowed three hits, two walks and three runs over five innings while throwing just 66 pitches. He retired six straight after Garcia’s homer in the fourth.

Dylan Lee took over in the sixth and retired the first two hitters before walking Garcia. Jung followed with a drive off the wall in right that Ronald Acuña Jr. played perfectly to hold him to a single. Wither runners at first and third, Jonah Heim dumped a single to right that scored Garcia to make it 4-1. Ezequiel Duran then put a charge into one that backed Sam Hilliard all the way up to the wall in left for the final out of the inning.

Lee returned for the seventh and struck out Sam Huff for the first out. He then allowed a single to Teveras who quickly stole second base. That would prove big as Semien singled to left to make it 5-1. The Rangers weren’t finished as Grossman brought home Semien with another single to left to extend the deficit to 6-1. Lowe made it four straight hits as he reached on an infield single off the glove of Albies at second. That would be it for Lee as Brian Snitker would summon Joe Jimenez from the bullpen who got Garcia to bounce into the 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Jonathan Hernandez entered to pitch the eighth and his first pitch sent Acuña diving out of the way. His second pitch landed 455 feet from home plate for a solo home run to make it 6-2.

Hernandez then hit Matt Olson and Sean Murphy made him pay with a homer that hit off Garcia’s glove in right and bounced over the wall for a two-run home run to make it 6-4.

Jimenez stayed in to start the eighth and retired the first two hitters he faced before Duran took him deep to left for a solo home run to push the Rangers’ lead back to 7-4.

Former Braves closer Will Smith entered the game in the ninth and retired the side in order to end the game.

Atlanta falls to 26-16 on the season. They will wrap up the series and their road trip Wednesday with Spencer Strider matching up against Nathan Eovaldi.

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