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Apr 21, 2024 10:46 am

Rangers’ Michael Lorenzen tasked with taming hot Braves

michael lorenzen

The Texas Rangers will need to slow down red-hot Braves catcher Travis d’Arnaud on Sunday if they hope to salvage a game from their weekend series in Atlanta.

D’Arnaud has four home runs and eight RBIs in the first two games of the series, and the Rangers undoubtedly are hoping he gets a day of rest. The Braves could give backup Chadwick Tromp a start behind the plate; he last started on Tuesday.

The Braves have won six straight and are going for their third sweep of a three-game series this season. Texas is 4-5 on its 10-game road trip, which concludes Sunday.

The pitching matchups feature a pair of right-handers — Atlanta rookie Darius Vines (0-0, 1.93 ERA) against Texas veteran Michael Lorenzen (1-0, 0.00).

Vines will be making the fourth start of his career and the second this season. He got a chance to step into the rotation after Allan Winans, who got the first opportunity to take the place of injured ace Spencer Strider, was shelled by the New York Mets. Vines started against the Houston Astros on Monday and pitched 4 2/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits, three walks and four strikeouts.

“I’m just going to stay ready so I don’t have to try to get ready,” Vines said. “I don’t know what’s going to happen, but whenever my name is called, I’m going to go out there and give my all and help this team win.”

Vines has never faced the Rangers.

Lorenzen will be making his second start for the Rangers. He was an All-Star for the Detroit Tigers last year before being shipped to the Philadelphia Phillies at the trade deadline. He was a free agent and didn’t sign his one-year, $4.5 million contract with Texas until a month after the start of spring training.

After making three minor league appearances, Lorenzen got his first start on Monday at Detroit. He earned the victory by pitching five scoreless innings, giving up three hits and five walks, with four strikeouts.

“He knows what he’s doing up there, he knows what he wants to do with his pitches,” catcher Jonah Heim said. “When you’ve got a guy who’s confident in his stuff, that makes my job easy. I’ve just got to push the right buttons and go from there.”

Lorenzen has faced the Braves 12 times, but only twice as a starter. His career record against Atlanta is 1-1 with a 7.52 ERA in 20 1/3 innings with 14 walks and 16 strikeouts.

Atlanta’s Marcell Ozuna went 0-for-3 with a walk on Saturday and saw his league-leading and career-long 17-game hitting streak come to an end.

Ronald Acuna Jr. had one stolen base on Saturday to match Rafael Furcal’s 189, tying them for 10th place on the all-time franchise list.

The Rangers made three roster moves on Saturday. First baseman Nathaniel Lowe was activated from the 10-day injured list (right oblique strain) and placed in the starting lineup; he went 0-for-3, walked and scored a run. Catcher Sam Huff was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock when Heim was placed on the MLB bereavement list. First baseman Jared Walsh was designated for assignment.

–Field Level Media

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