ATLANTA — Elvis Andrus, Nomar Mazara and Rougned Odor homered, Andrew Cashner pitched six strong innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Atlanta Braves 8-2 on Monday night.
The homer-happy Rangers have won two straight and five of seven to stay relevant in the AL wild-card race, beginning the night three games out of the second wild-card spot.
Even with slugger Adrian Beltre nursing a hamstring injury and sidelined for the next four weeks, Texas still has plenty of power. The Rangers lead the majors with 215 homers, matching their total from last season.
Andrus, who homered twice on Sunday, made it 1-0 in the first inning with his 19th long ball. Mazara’s 17th homer and Odor’s 28th, a two-run shot, made it 8-2 in the fifth. That gave Texas seven homers over the last two days.
Cashner (9-9) gave up six hits, two runs and two walks and struck out five. In his last 10 starts, Cashner is 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA.
R.A. Dickey (9-9) allowed eight hits, three walks and seven runs — six earned — in 4 1/3 innings. The 42-year-old knuckleballer struck out three.
The Rangers led 3-0 in the second on Cashner’s sacrifice fly and a passed ball that scored Odor from third. They went up 5-0 in the third on Joey Gallo’s RBI triple and Odor’s sacrifice fly.
Matt Adams cut the lead to 5-2 in the fourth with his 20th homer.
Rangers C Robinson Chirinos went 0 for 2 but walked twice to reach safely for the 21st straight game, the team’s longest such streak this season.
Braves 1B Freddie Freeman began the game hitting .298 with 10 homers and 35 RBIs since returning July 4 from a broken left wrist, but he’s lost strength in his wrist recently. He went 2 for 4 but had hit just .194 over his previous 10 games. Manager Brian Snitker said he and Freeman discussed a couple days ago whether it was risky to keep him in the lineup before his next doctor’s visit this week. They decided to stay with Freeman playing every day. “He assured me there’s no pain, not hurting,” Snitker said. “He can back off the extra work and all that and just get himself ready and get through this OK.”
PLAY IT SAFE
Texas manager Jeff Banister said there are no plans to add INF Jurickson Profar or top prospects OF Willie Calhoun and 1B Ronald Guzman in the immediate future because the Rangers can’t get them enough playing time with expanded rosters. “You can get to a point where the population can be a little high,” Banister said. Banister added that the players who have been with the team all season deserve a chance “to finish the job.”
Texas recalled OF Jared Hoying from Triple-A Round Rock and LHP Yohander Mendez from Double-A Frisco. … The Braves activated INF Adonis Garcia from the 10-day disabled list and recalled INF Micah Johnson from Triple-A Gwinnett. Snitker said INF Johan Camargo will be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.
Rangers: RHP Miguel Gonzalez (7-10, 4.31 ERA) will make his 23rd start of the season and his first for Texas. Gonzalez, acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox last week, has gone 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA over his last nine starts.
Braves: RHP Julio Teheran (9-11, 4.75 ERA) will make his 28th start and second in his career against the Rangers. In his last four starts, Teheran is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA, but he’s allowed 29 homers, second-most in the NL.