Omar Infante hit a tiebreaking single, and the Atlanta Braves scored three times in the ninth inning to beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Wednesday night.
Jeff Francoeur led off the inning with a grounder that Rangers closer C.J. Wilson threw wildly to first for a two-base error. Texas manager Ron Washington argued that Francoeur was running inside the base path, impeding the pitcher’s throw to first, to no avail.
One out later, Infante singled to right to drive in Francoeur, and Gregor Blanco followed with a run-scoring triple to right-center. Kelly Johnson added his second RBI of the night with a run-scoring groundout to make it 5-2.
Jeff Bennett (1-4) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for Atlanta, and Mike Gonzalez had a perfect ninth for his first save of the season and 31st straight.
Gonzalez was removed from the disabled list before the game, 13 months after ligament replacement surgery in his left elbow. He made his first appearance since May 15, 2007.
Wilson (0-2) allowed three runs—one earned—and two hits in the ninth inning.
Chipper Jones homered and went 2-for-5 to keep his major league-best batting average at .400. The Braves’ slugger hit a 3-2 pitch over the center field fence with two outs in the first for his 16th of the year.
Braves starter Jo-Jo Reyes gave up two runs and five hits in seven innings, striking out three and walking four. He left with the game tied at 2.
The Rangers’ Eric Hurley matched Reyes through five innings in his second big-league start, allowing two runs and five hits with five strikeouts and two walks.
Johnson’s RBI single in the third pushed Atlanta’s lead to 2-0 before Gerald Laird’s run-scoring single in the third pulled Texas within a run. The Rangers tied it in the sixth when Josh Hamilton singled, stole second, moved to third in catcher Brian McCann’s throwing error and scored on Brandon Boggs’ infield single.
The Rangers’ offense could have used Milton Bradley, who missed the game with a strained left quadriceps.
Bradley left Tuesday night’s 7-5 victory over the Braves after sustaining the injury on a two-run single in the third inning. Washington said it isn’t serious and he expects Bradley to be available for Thursday’s series finale.