Series: Game 3 of 3

Texas won 2-1

Game 1: Monday, June 13
Game 2: Tuesday, June 14
Game 3: Wednesday, June 15

Braves 5

(33-32, 14-21 away)

Rangers 9

(35-29, 19-13 home)

    7:05 PM ET, June 15, 2005

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    ATL 100003100 5 13 1
    TEX 50110002 - 9 14 1

    W: C. Park (7-1)

    L: K. Davies (2-2)

    S: F. Cordero (17)

    Rangers pounce on Braves rookie in first inning

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers' hitters are making things easy for Chan Ho Park, even when he struggles.

    Park again got plenty of offensive support, winning his sixth straight decision over 10 starts in the Rangers' 9-5 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday night.

    The right-hander overcame a 40-pitch first inning, gave up just one run despite allowing 12 baserunners in his five innings, and is 7-1 for the first time in his career.

    "I like him going five innings and giving up one run," manager Buck Showalter said. "He kept making pitches when he had to. Our guys feed a little off his competitiveness, but there were some long innings out there."

    Alfonso Soriano and Kevin Mench had two-run doubles in the Rangers' five-run first, when the first six batters reached against rookie Kyle Davies (2-2). Soriano added a solo homer and another RBI double.

    Park went into the game getting 8.43 runs of support per start, best in the major leagues. But he threw 40 pitches before the Rangers even got to bat.

    "It was tough, but I kept pitching," Park said. "There were just two groundball base hits and two walks on 3-2 counts. One run wasn't a big deal."

    Plus, after 20 minutes on the mound, the offense gave Park plenty of time to catch his breath.

    Gary Matthews Jr. had a leadoff single before consecutive walks and an RBI single by Hank Blalock tied the game 1-1. Soriano and Mench, the next two batters, both had two-run doubles.

    Davies allowed six runs and eight hits in 2 1/3 innings, and his ERA increased from 1.86 to 3.45. He allowed just six runs over 29 innings his first five starts.

    "He never got in a groove where he put the ball where he wanted, and neither did Park," manager Bobby Cox said. "We let him get away with it in the first inning. They didn't let us."

    Park allowed eight singles, struck out three, walked three and hit a batter in five innings against a batting order that included six rookies. He threw 114 pitches before leaving with a 7-1 lead.

    His seven wins are half his total of the past three seasons (14-18) -- which began his $65 million, five-year contract with the Rangers.

    The first three Atlanta batters reached before Adam LaRoche's comebacker, which Park deflected then had to scramble to get the out while a run scored. After a walk reloaded the bases, consecutive strikeouts finally ended the inning.

    "You would like to think that with the bases loaded and no outs, you'd score more than one run," LaRoche said. "We were still feeling good, then they came back and put up a crooked number."

    Atlanta, which started seven rookies in a game for the first time since Oct. 1, 1978, dropped its sixth straight series since sweeping three games from the New York Mets on May 23-25.

    Francisco Cordero, the fourth Texas pitcher, got the last three outs for his 17th save in 20 chances. Atlanta used six pitchers.

    Matthews had an RBI single in the third that chased Davies.

    "I know I'll have ups and downs," said Davies, who has allowed 10 runs in two starts after just two runs over the first four. "I know exactly what it was, not keeping the ball down and not throwing a lot of strikes."

    Soriano's 18th homer, a solo shot, came off Jorge Vasquez in the fourth. His RBI double in the eighth capped the scoring.

    The Braves got three unearned runs in the sixth after first baseman Mark Teixeira's first error in 804 fielding chances over 88 games since September. Teixeira was unable to hold on to a throw from reliever Brian Shouse on a comebacker.

    A run scored on the play and LaRoche followed with a two-run double. Wilson Betemit added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.

    Game notes

    Julio Franco was scratched from Atlanta's lineup because the 46-year-old had a fever. Pete Orr took over as DH, and had three singles. That also gave the Braves the most rookies in a lineup since the finale of that 93-loss season in 1978. ... Rangers SS Michael Young was 2-for-4, and is hitting .414 (48-for-116) over 28 games since May 13. ... Texas is 6-6 in interleague play; Atlanta is 4-8.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press