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Rangers beat Braves with 6-4 victory

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ATLANTA — Andrew Knizner hit a three-run homer, Adolis García added a two-run shot and the Texas Rangers avoided a three-game sweep with a 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday night.

Evan Carter also went deep as the reigning World Series champions erased an early 3-0 deficit and stopped Atlanta’s six-game winning streak. Michael Lorenzen (2-0) recovered from a rocky start, giving up three runs and three hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.

David Robertson worked 1 2/3 innings in relief and Kirby Yates got four outs for his third save.

“The homer was great to get us ahead, but with that lineup over there it’s all about pitching and executing pitches the rest of the game,” Knizner said. “Lorenzen, Robertson and Yates just did an outstanding job. Those are the guys that held it down for us.”

Marcell Ozuna launched his major league-leading ninth homer for the Braves, a three-run shot off Lorenzen in the first inning.

Atlanta rookie Darius Vines (1-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings while striking out six and walking two. He was optioned to the minors after the game.

Carter’s solo shot in the fourth and Knizner’s drive later in the inning gave Texas a 4-3 lead. García connected off Tyler Matzek in the eighth to make it 6-3.

Helped by García’s error in right field when he dropped a flyball, the Braves got a run back in the bottom half on Austin Riley’s RBI single. Atlanta had two runners on with nobody out, but Robertson struck out Matt Olson and retired Ozuna on a popup. Yates entered and struck out Orlando Arcia to end the inning.

“Robertson, what a job he did with some of the stuff going on out there,” Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “He bowed his neck and there were some pretty good hitters he had to go through. … I can’t say enough about how he kept his poise.”

Carter also had an infield single and made two diving catches in left field.

Knizner, the Rangers’ backup catcher, entered the game 1 for 16 this season but finished with two hits. His three-run homer to right followed singles by Nathaniel Lowe and Josh Smith.

Ozuna homered with two outs in the first. From there, Lorenzen dominated the potent Braves lineup, giving up just one hit over the next five innings as the Rangers rallied.

Atlanta reserve catcher Chadwick Tromp threw out two runners trying to steal.

Trainer’s room

Braves: Manager Brian Snitker said catcher Sean Murphy has been ramping up his fielding activities but has not been cleared to hit as he recovers from his oblique injury. … Second baseman Ozzie Albies has been doing light fielding drills while recovering from his broken toe.

Up next

Rangers: RHP Dane Dunning (2-1, 3.91 ERA) will face Mariners RHP Logan Gilbert (1-0, 2.33) in the opener of a three-game series at Texas on Tuesday.

Braves: RHP Bryce Elder will be called up from Triple-A Gwinnett to make his first major league start this season Monday night against Marlins LHP Ryan Weathers (2-1, 2.70 ERA) in Atlanta. Elder made 31 starts last year and was 12-4 with a 3.81 ERA. He was selected to the NL All-Star team, but struggled in the second half and got hit hard in his lone playoff appearance against the Phillies.

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