Bonilla wins 1st start as Rangers top Braves 3-2
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Lisalverto Bonilla made it through six innings in his first major league start when Texas manager Tim Bogar would have been more than happy with five.
The 24-year-old right-hander's reward came from fellow rookie Rougned Odor, whose two-run double in the sixth put the last-place Rangers ahead and gave Bonilla the win in a 3-2 interleague victory Saturday over the NL wild card-chasing Atlanta Braves.
''Amazed. How's that?'' Bogar offered with a smile when he asked if there was something beyond ''ecstatic,'' the word he used for how he would feel if Bonilla went five innings on a pitch count of roughly 75. ''I was really happy with how he did.''
Atlanta's Julio Teheran (13-12) took a no-hitter and a 2-0 lead into the sixth before a one-out single by Luis Sardinas.
An error by left fielder Justin Upton kept the inning alive, and Elvis Andrus had an RBI single before Odor doubled to the warning track in left-center field, scoring Leonys Martin and Andrus.
The Braves, who started the day three games behind Pittsburgh for the second NL wild-card spot, dropped to 2-6 on their nine-game road trip.
Bonilla (1-0), filling in after Scott Baker was scratched with triceps tendinitis, got through his six innings in 78 pitches despite four walks and three straight batters reaching in Atlanta's two-run third.
He erased leadoff walks in the first and third by getting double-play grounders from Phil Gosselin and Christian Bethancourt. He followed each of the double plays with a walk but escaped further damage.
''Sometimes I was trying to be too fine on my pitches and that's why I have problems with my control,'' Bonilla, whose first two career appearances were out of the bullpen, said through a translator.
With closer Neftali Feliz unavailable, Neal Cotts pitched the ninth for his first save this season.
Teheran faded after a strong start for the second straight outing as the Braves dropped the first two of a three-game set in Texas. He struck out six in his fourth complete game of the season, and the only three hits he gave up were in the sixth.
''I wasn't disappointed about the no-hitter,'' the 23-year-old right-hander said. ''I was just trying to keep the lead and win the game. The whole game I felt good.''
Teheran retired 13 of the first 14 last Sunday at Miami but allowed seven of the next nine to reach in a 4-0 loss. The sixth got him this time, but only after Upton's two-out error when he tried to make a running catch and dropped a line drive from Martin.
''Nobody feels worse about it than Justin,'' Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''He makes that play 100 out of 100 times. He was coming in hard and it just bounced off his glove. It compounds it when we're not scoring too many runs.''
RANGERS WITH RARE CHANCE
Texas goes for its first sweep since April on Sunday. The Rangers won consecutive games for the first time since Aug. 24-25 and just the third time since July 1. They also have a chance to finish .500 (10-10) in interleague play.
MILD TEXAS SUMMER
The temperature at first pitch was 59, the coolest since April 17 and 39 degrees lower than three nights earlier. It will go down as a mild summer for Texas baseball. The Rangers matched the coolest August gametime temperature at 71 and aren't likely to add to the only triple-digit first pitch on July 27 (100 degrees).
Braves: Gonzalez said C Evan Gattis (strep throat) is likely to miss his sixth straight game in Sunday's series finale, costing the Dallas native a chance to play in front of the hometown crowd.
Rangers: Bogar said he hopes Baker will pitch again this season. The next chance would be Friday at the Los Angeles Angels.
Braves: LHP Mike Minor (6-10, 4.58 ERA) makes his first appearance against the Rangers. He has made six straight quality starts but has just a 2-3 record to show for it. The Braves have scored one run combined in his past two starts.
Rangers: RHP Colby Lewis (9-13, 5.29 ERA) is set for his team-leading 27th start a year after partial hip replacement surgery. He has gone at least seven innings in three straight starts, one shy of his career record in 2011.