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Braves' Travis d'Arnaud hits first 3 HRs of season, including go-ahead slam, in 8-3 win over Rangers

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LA Post: Braves' Travis d'Arnaud hits first 3 HRs of season, including go-ahead slam, in 8-3 win over Rangers
April 20, 2024
CHARLES ODUM - AP

ATLANTA (AP) — Travis d'Arnaud hit his first three home runs of the season, including a grand slam in the sixth that gave Atlanta the lead, and the Braves beat the Texas Rangers 8-3 on Friday night for their fifth straight win.

Chris Sale (2-1) allowed three runs and five hits in seven innings in the interleague matchup of first-place teams.

Adolis García’s two-run double off Sale in the sixth tied it at 3.

Rangers left-hander Jacob Latz (0-1) issued one-out walks to Matt Olson and Marcell Ozuna before a single by Michael Harris II loaded the bases for the NL East-leading. D'Arnaud lined a fastball from Latz 433 feet to left-center for his third career grand slam and second three-homer game.

After becoming the Braves' primary catcher when Sean Murphy was placed on the 10-day injured list on March 30 with an oblique injury, d'Arnaud was a surprise offensive star against the AL West-leading Rangers. He entered with six RBIs for the season before driving in six Friday night.

Given an opportunity to join Bob Horner in 1986 against Montreal as the only Atlanta players to hit four homers in a game, d'Arnaud grounded out to shortstop Corey Seager in the eighth. He hit his first two homers off left-hander Andrew Heaney.

Harris added an eighth-inning homer for Atlanta.

On the day ace Spencer Strider made his first return trip to the Braves clubhouse since having season-ending elbow surgery on April 13, a healthy Sale provided a boost of confidence for the rotation. The left-hander allowed only two hits and one run in his first five innings.

Ozuna's run-scoring single in the first extended his hitting streak to 17 games, the longest of his career and the longest active streak in the majors.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rangers: RHP Max Scherzer (back surgery) threw a two-inning simulated game before batting practice as he moved closer to a minor league rehab stint. ... Rookie RHP Jack Leiter was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock. He allowed seven runs in his major league debut, Thursday's 9-7 win at Detroit. “He's not going down because of what happened yesterday,” said manager Bruce Bochy, referring to the team's need for a fresh arm in its bullpen. RHP Owen White was recalled from Round Rock.

Braves: IF Luke Williams was recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett to share playing time at second base while 2B Ozzie Albies recovers from a broken right toe. David Fletcher, who was called up Tuesday when Albies was placed on the 10-day IL, will share time with Williams. Manager Brian Snitker said Albies is “doing a lot better than I thought he was going to be.” OF Forrest Wall was optioned to Gwinnett.

UP NEXT

Rangers RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-1, 2.92) will face Braves RHP Charlie Morton (1-0, 5.29) on Saturday night. Eovaldi is 3-3 with a 2.89 ERA in 16 career games against Atlanta, including only two appearances since 2019. Morton is 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in seven career starts against Texas.

___

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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