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70-68 - Rangers explode for 12 runs to take game one over Atlanta

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Elvis Andrus joins the 20/20 club as Rangers start their day with a win over the Braves

MLB: Game One-Texas Rangers at Atlanta Braves Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Miguel Gonzalez made his Rangers debut today and though he seemed like a boring waiver wire deadline acquisition, he’s actually been pitching pretty well this season.

Dating all the way back to mid-June, Gonzalez had gone only one start where he allowed more than three runs and had pitched at least six innings in each of those starts.

Wouldn’t you know it, in his first outing with Texas, against a moribund Braves outfit, he got tagged for his second such start as he allowed four runs in just three innings of work.

Luckily for the Rangers, Matt Kemp plays in the field in the National League for the Atlanta Braves as Texas abused the “left fielder” and turned a 4-2 deficit in the top of the fourth inning into an eventual 12-8 win.

The big blow came when Will Middlebrooks pinch hit for Gonzalez and hit a low liner to Kemp with two on and the Rangers down 4-3. Kemp misplayed it into a triple and Texas never looked back.

Inclement weather forced the Rangers to wait another day, but with the enormous outpouring of offense in the first game of today’s doubleheader, Texas has put some distance between themselves and sweet lady .500.

Before this moment, Texas had not been at least two games above .500 since the beginning of the day on May 24. That was the day the Rangers stopped Chris Sale’s 10 or more strikeout game streak but lost 9-4 in Boston.

Player of the Game: After a decent display of six home runs in his rookie season, Elvis Andrus hit zero home runs in 2010. Zero. In over 600 PAs. Power was not something you associated with Elvis Andrus, ever. His career high for dingers before this season was eight which he accomplished last season.

In five of Elvis’ nine seasons, he’s hit five or fewer home runs. Through the 2014 season, Elvis had hit 20 home runs for his entire career. In 2017, after a solo dong in the first inning today, Elvis Andrus has hit 20 home runs to join the 20/20 club.

Elvis isn’t just some lunkheaded slugger now, though, as he went 4-for-5, including a double, and three runs driven in.

Up Next: The Rangers and Braves will hang out for a few hours and then play game two of today’s doubleheader beginning at 6:35 pm CT or so. Cole Hamels for Texas will oppose LHP Julio Teheran for Atlanta as the Rangers go for a doubleheader and series sweep.