Carpenter sharp for a month, but not Friday

ARLINGTON, Texas – Reliever David Carpenter gave up more hits in a span of three batters Friday than he had allowed in the previous month, and the result was a 2-1 Braves loss to the Rangers.

Carpenter retired the first two batters he faced on a fly out and a ground out, then gave up three consecutive two-out singles in the eighth inning to Adrian Beltre, Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos. The hit by Chirinos driving in the go-ahead run and lifting the Rangers to just their second win in 13 games.

In his past 14 appearances before Friday, Carpenter had allowed just two hits, one run and four walks with 11 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. Hitters were 2-for-38 against him in that span, but went 3-for-5 against the right-hander Friday before he was replaced.

“He gets the first two guys out and you feel pretty good,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez. “I think his last four or five outings have been really good, so you run him out there in the eighth inning and he gets the first two guys out. Then, I’m not sure if a couple of those hits were two strikes or not, but they put the ball in play.”

Beltre singled on a 1-1 fastball, Rua on a 2-2 slider, and Chirinos on an 0-1 slider.

“You put the ball in play, you’ve got a chance to find those holes,” Gonzalez said.

“Just Beltre, that was the only ball that was really hit hard,” Carpenter said. “Still beat him with a fastball. He was the guy we were most worried about beating us, and I don’t think a single to right is going to beat us. Next guy gets up there, make some good pitches and everything. He’s fighting off the fastball, thought it was time to give him the slider, and went back on video and he one-hands it out there to center; it was a soft single.

“Next guy comes up and basically the same thing on the 1-1 pitch, soft single. He’s beat – or he’s not beat, but he’s out front on it, and he just finds green with it. I mean, that’s basically all it came down to.”