ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Kevin Pillar and Ronald Acuña Jr. each hit a two-run homer in the second inning, spoiling Cody Bradford’s big league debut as the Atlanta Braves routed the Texas Rangers 12-0 on Monday night in an interleague matchup of division leaders.
Orlando Arcia, Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna also socked two-run shots for the Braves, who hold the top spot in the NL East. Charlie Morton (5-3) struck out a season-high 10 and limited the Rangers to seven singles and one walk in 6 2/3 innings to win consecutive starts for the first time this season.
Arcia homered in the sixth and Riley in the seventh, both off reliever Cole Ragans as the Braves averted their first five-game losing streak since September 2017.
Ozuna’s drive came in the ninth off Rangers reserve catcher Sandy Leon, making his eighth career pitching appearance.
Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the fifth.
Bradford (0-1) was called up from Triple-A Round Rock for his major league debut with the AL West leaders coming off a 10-game road trip. The 25-year-old lefty from nearby Aledo, Texas, and Baylor University gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. At Round Rock, Bradford was 5-1 with a 0.91 ERA.
Pillar’s homer was his second in two days and third in four games. Four of his five home runs this season have been hit in May.
Acuña launched a 454-foot drive on a curveball low and outside into the second deck beyond the visitors’ bullpen in left-center.
Braves: RHP Kyle Wright (shoulder inflammation) was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Rangers: General manager Chris Young said the return of SS Corey Seager (strained hamstring), out since April 11, is “imminent.” … Young had no timetable for RHP Jacob deGrom (elbow inflammation), sidelined since April 28. “He’s had a couple good days of throwing,” Young said. “We’ll sit down and try to map out a schedule for his return.”
COMING AND GOING
The Braves claimed RHP Dereck Rodriguez off waivers from Minnesota and optioned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Atlanta didn’t announce a Tuesday starter before Monday’s game, and manager Brian Snitker said Rodriguez is an option. … The Rangers optioned RHP Yerry Rodriguez to Triple-A.
Rangers RHP Dane Dunning (3-0, 1.71 ERA) has allowed only two runs in 11 innings since filling deGrom’s spot in the starting rotation.
For more local and national news, visit caddocountry.net.