Rookie Bryce Elder will have hundreds of family members and friends in Globe Life Field on Saturday when he pitches near his hometown for the first time in his career.
Elder, a native of nearby Decatur, Texas, will be on the mound for the Atlanta Braves when they play the Texas Rangers in the second game of a three-game series in Arlington, Texas.
Elder (1-2, 4.30 ERA) will be opposed by Texas right-hander Dane Dunning (0-1, 4.91).
“A lot of memories made by that 2010, 2011 run they made,” Elder said. “As much as I would have liked to pitch in the other ballpark, (Globe Life Park) is sweet. I’m looking forward to it.”
Elder was Atlanta’s fifth-round draft choice in 2020 and he passed on a scholarship to Texas to sign with the Braves.
In his major league debut on April 11, he pitched 5 2/3 innings and got the win against Washington.
In the two starts since, Elder has not gotten past the fifth and has walked 11 and struck out seven in nine combined innings.
Dunning will make his fifth start of the season. He has limited the opposition to three or fewer runs in each start. He will be working on regular four days rest after receiving no decision against the Houston Astros on April 25 when he allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings with five strikeouts and one walk.
He will be making his first career start against a National League opponent.
Dunning will try to stop the Texas slide. The Rangers have lost four in a row and have won only six games, tied for the fewest wins in the American League.
“We’ve got to find a way to win, not find a way to lose,” said Texas manager Chris Woodward. “I think that’s where we’re kind of at. The team has to kind of look inside yourself and say, ‘OK, how are we going to get better at those spots.”
The Braves have received a boost in offensive production thanks to the promotion of a pair of players who were teammates in Triple-A Gwinnett just 10 days ago.
The Braves had four home runs in Friday’s 6-3 win in the series opener. They had three on Thursday against Chicago and lead the National League with 28.
On Friday night, William Contreras had his first multi-home run game in his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Gwinnett on Thursday.
“To come in and take advantage of that situation, he did a really good job,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “Two big hits in a game like this and that’s just a credit to William that when we sent him out, he went down there and worked his tail off and stayed ready.”
Outfielder Travis Demeritte and Contreras have added some life to a lineup that had struggled.
Demeritte has two home runs, including an inside-the-parker, and is batting .389 since being recalled on April 20.
Contreras had two homers on Friday in his first game since being promoted Thursday.
–Field Level Media