Cole Hamels allowed five runs in the second inning, including one on his throwing error, and the Atlanta Braves made their big inning stand up Wednesday night in a 5-4 victory that allowed them to avoid a doubleheader sweep.
Nomar Mazara connected for a two-run homer for the Rangers, and Carlos Gomez and Hamels also knocked in runs. Mazara was forced to leave the game early with tightness in his left quadriceps after tweaking it while scoring on Gomez’s double.
The Braves sent 10 batters to the plate in the second, which started with a walk, a hit batsman and a single. Hamels through high and wide to second two batters later, and the Braves responded with three straight hits.
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Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels said that he has been unable to correct why he is having trouble finishing off hitters, something that bit him again Wednesday (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilsonjwilson@star-telegram.com
How Rangers pitchers fared: Cole Hamels was pretty good for five innings, but one inning ruined his outing. ... Atlanta scored five times against him in the second, an inning that featured a leadoff walk, a hit batsman, a Hamels throwing error and four hits. ... Jake Diekman worked a scoreless seventh, and Tony Barnette and Alex Claudio teamed for a scoreless eighth. ... Claudio pitched in both games of the doubleheader.
How Rangers hitters fared: Nomar Mazara reached three times before exiting, as he walked, homered and single. His two-run shot gave the Rangers their first runs, and his single extended the fifth for Carlos Gomez. Gomez doubled, and Mazara scored just ahead of the relay from center field. ... He also left the game in the seventh with tightness in his left quad. ... Delino DeShields failed to reach for the first time in 20 games. He was robbed of a hit to start the fifth. ... Hamels drove in the Rangers’ final run on a groundout in the sixth after Will Middlebrooks started the inning with a pinch triple. He became the first player in MLB history (since 1913, according to STATS, LLC) to have pinch-hit triples in both games of a doubleheader.