Despite a disappointing road trip, the Texas Rangers may have come home with some momentum.
The Rangers will look to build on their first win in six games when they open an interleague series with the slumping Atlanta Braves at Ameriquest Field.
The Rangers beat Florida 6-2 on Sunday to snap their longest losing streak of the season. Ricardo Rodriguez, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, pitched five innings for the win and John Wasdin earned a four-inning save after his contract was purchased from Oklahoma on Sunday.
Richard Hidalgo homered for the Rangers, who went 4-8 on their road trip through Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia and Florida. Texas will next try to pick up where it left off at home. The Rangers finished their most recent homestand 8-0.
The Braves may be the perfect opponent. Atlanta has lost 13 of its last 19 away from Turner Field, thanks in part to a rash of injuries. The Braves lost 11-5 to Oakland on Sunday, dropping their fifth straight series while ending a 2-4 homestand.
Andruw Jones hit his third homer in two games, but reliever Adam Bernero gave up six runs in the seventh inning. Reliever Blaine Boyer, who was called up from Double-A Mississippi, allowed a run in the sixth and was charged with the loss in his major league debut.
Atlanta’s bullpen owns a 6.56 ERA since May 13.
“It’s still got some straightening to do,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said of the bullpen. “It should be straightened out by now and it’s not.”
The Braves will send staff ace Tim Hudson to the mound Monday. Hudson allowed four earned runs and six hits over four innings in Atlanta’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, but did not receive a decision. He left the game after facing two batters in the fifth because of cramping, but will be ready to go when he takes the mound on Monday.
“I was sweating like a maniac out there,” said Hudson, who noted that he had not yet pitched in humid conditions this season. “I just lost too much fluid.”