Chirinos helps Rangers past Braves 2-1
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Robinson Chirinos is back. So is Derek Holland. The catcher and pitcher led Texas to the win on Friday night.
Chirinos hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the eighth inning, sending the Rangers to a 2-1 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
''(Teammates) were putting (together) good at-bats,'' Chirinos said. ''So I was just trying to get a good pitch and trying to do my job and hit a line drive somewhere. It was good to be back in the game.''
Chirinos was playing for the first time after missing 10 games because of a stiff neck.
''It was nice to see his energy back there,'' interim manager Tim Bogar said. ''He handled Derek well.''
Holland, who missed five months following offseason knee surgery, allowed one run and eight hits in seven innings in his third start of the year. The left-hander struck out six and walked none.
Holland has not allowed a walk since he returned. The only other Rangers pitcher with no walks in three consecutive starts of seven innings or more was Hall of Famer Ferguson Jenkins in 1979.
''A walk is a free base,'' Holland said. ''I'm not giving my teammates a chance to make plays when I do that. It would be nice to keep up this no walks going, but I can't get caught up in it.''
Adrian Beltre and Ryan Rua had two hits apiece as Texas won for only the second time in 13 games. The Rangers improved to 2-5 under Bogar.
The Braves have lost four of five to drop three games behind Pittsburgh for the National League's second wild card.
Texas' winning rally started with two out in the eighth. Beltre and Rua hit consecutive singles against David Carpenter (6-4) before Chirinos lined a single to center to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
Rookie Phil Klein (1-2) recorded two outs for his first major league win and Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect ninth inning for his ninth save in 10 opportunities.
Atlanta had a runner on third with one out in the eighth when Klein struck out Justin Upton. After an intentional walk to Ryan Doumit, Klein struck out Chris Johnson to end the inning.
The game ended when Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons flied out to right fielder Michael Choice on the warning track.
Atlanta's Alex Wood allowed only one run and four hits in seven innings.
Singles by B.J. Upton and Simmons and Jason Heyward's ground ball produced the Braves' run in the third inning. Holland retired Justin Upton and Doumit with the bases loaded.
Texas tied it in the sixth on J.P. Arencibia's double, Beltre's single and Rua's groundout.
Braves: C Evan Gattis (strep throat) missed his fourth straight game.
Rangers: RHP Scott Baker (triceps tendinitis) was scratched from Saturday's scheduled start. ... OF Jake Smolinski (fractured left foot) could come off the disabled list to join Texas on Tuesday at Oakland. ... OF Jim Adduci (concussion) is undergoing tests to determine if he could return from the DL.
Braves RHP Julio Teheran (13-11, 3.00 ERA) faces RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (0-0, 7.36 ERA) on Saturday afternoon. Teheran will be trying to end a personal two-game losing streak. Bonilla is making his first major league start in Baker's place.
On his 25th birthday, Braves 1B Freddie Freeman's third-inning single stretched his on-base streak to 28 games. Beltre's streak went to 27 after his sixth-inning single.
The game-time temperature was an unseasonable (for Texas) 65 degrees. It dropped into the 50s, at times accompanied by a misty rain. The average low for Sept. 12 in Arlington is 68.