The Cincinnati Reds couldn’t get Tyler Mahle a win despite his dominant performance. Scooter Gennett made sure they avoided another gut-wrenching loss.
Gennett hit a two-run homer in the 12th inning for a 9-7 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday night, salvaging a game that got out of hand when their rookie starter left. Mahle took a no-hitter into the seventh, and it all came apart.
Freddie Freeman homered for Atlanta’s first hit, only the third ball the Braves managed to get out of the infield. He homered again as Atlanta scored four times in the ninth for a 7-7 tie.
Freeman led off the seventh with a homer on the rookie’s 90th pitch — Mahle turned his head and muttered a word in frustration as the ball left the bat. Kurt Suzuki hit a two-run homer off Mahle later in the inning.
Mahle drew attention on his way to the majors by throwing a no-hitter in Single-A in 2016 and a perfect game last April 22 at Double-A. He was starting to think another was in reach on Tuesday.
“It’s always in the back of your mind a little bit,” Mahle said.
The 39-year-old third baseman in his 21st season didn’t sound optimistic after the game but wanted to wait for an MRI on Wednesday before saying much else.
If Beltre ends up on the disabled list, the Rangers won’t have any of their opening day infielders in those spots for the finale of what is already a fifth straight series loss at home, the most to start a season since the franchise moved to Texas in 1972.
“We already have our key players hurt on the middle infield,” Beltre said. “We didn’t need another one. It’s no secret we’ve been struggling offensively. We’re trying to find a way to get through it.”
Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus is out at least another month after breaking his right elbow when he was hit by a pitch April 12. Second baseman Rougned Odor has been out since April 10 with a left hamstring strain.
When Andrus got hurt, Joey Gallo was shuffled to left field from first base, where rookie Ronald Guzman is starting now. Delino DeShields has returned to center field after a broken hand sidelined him for three weeks and weakened the Texas outfield significantly.
“It’s gut-wrenching, to say the least,” said manager Jeff Banister, whose Rangers (8-17) have matched their second-worst 25-game start and are 3-12 at home. “However, I’ll continue to say this: There is no timeout. We’ll continue to play.”