Carlos Gomez has started September with a bang and looks to continue his current hot streak for the postseason-hopeful Texas Rangers, who visit the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday for the middle contest of their three-game series. The veteran center fielder opened the set on Monday by collecting three hits in an 8-2 victory by Texas, which climbed within two games of Minnesota for the second wild-card spot in the American League, and improved to 6-for-15 with six runs scored in four games this month.
Rougned Odor snapped a 3-for-32 slump and plated three runs in the series opener with an RBI double and a two-run homer. While the Rangers are 16-9 in their 25 games since Aug. 9, the Braves have dropped 31 of their last 46 contests and fell to 20-62 when allowing four or more runs. Freddie Freeman - who said before the game he is not experiencing pain in the left wrist he fractured in May, just soreness - collected two hits to raise his average to .317 on the season. Nick Markakis recorded his 34th multi-hit performance of the year, but the Braves registered just eight hits overall.
TV: 7:35 p.m. ET, FSN Southwest (Texas), FSN Southeast (Atlanta)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Rangers RH Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.31 ERA) vs. Braves RH Julio Teheran (9-11, 4.75)
Gonzalez makes his first start for Texas after pitching well in his final five turns with the Chicago White Sox, going 2-0 with a 1.85 ERA in 34 innings. He was dealt to the Rangers after giving up three runs and seven hits at Minnesota on Tuesday but had allowed two runs or fewer in each of his previous four outings. The 33-year-old Gonzalez has struggled on the road this season, posting a 3-7 record and 5.23 ERA over 13 starts.
The 26-year-old Teheran makes his 28th start of the season after an August during which he posted his second-best monthly ERA (3.65) in 2017. Teheran closed the month with two excellent starts, surrendering one run with eight strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings at Philadelphia on Wednesday after giving up two runs over 7 1/3 frames in win over Colorado five days earlier. Teheran has allowed five runs in two of his last three starts at home, where he has posted a 6.54 ERA in 14 turns.
1. Atlanta rookie 2B Ozzie Albies has recorded at least one hit in 15 of his last 18 games, raising his average to .284.
2. Texas C Robinson Chirinos has collected at least one hit in 15 of his last 17 starts and is hitting .255 on the season.
3. Atlanta is expected to activate INF Johan Camargo (knee) from the disabled list on Tuesday.
PREDICTION: Braves 6, Rangers 4