ATLANTA - There was a buzz in the stands at Turner Field Wednesday, and it wasn't just about Mark Teixeira. It was also about what Teixeira added to - an offense that was good without him and is potentially dominant with him.
On the night Teixeira made his Atlanta debut, the Braves left no doubt about that potential. They scored seven runs in the first inning, dealing an early knockout punch to the Houston Astros. Then Teixeira provided some extra theatrics, belting a three-run homer in the sixth inning of a 12-3 victory.
It was as if general manager John Schuerholz, watching from above in his private suite, had scripted it himself. Teixeira, his trade deadline prize, finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs. He also became the first player to homer in his Braves debut since Jeff Francoeur did it in his major-league debut on July 7, 2005.
After his blast to left field, Teixiera received a curtain call from an adoring crowd of 30,785. And the first baseman obliged, climbing the dugout steps and holding up his helmet.
The Braves (57-51) won their third game in a row. And Atlanta has outscored opponents 38-7 over those three games.
Pitcher Buddy Carlyle left the game after five innings with a hyper-extended right elbow, and was listed as day-to-day. But otherwise, the news was all good for Atlanta.
Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez was shaky from the start in the first inning, and the Braves took advantage. Yunel Escobar led off with a double, and Edgar Renteria and Chipper Jones drew walks to load the bases for Teixeira in his first Braves plate appearance.
Teixeira was greeted with a loud ovation from the crowd. But rather than swinging for the fences, he showed patience, drawing a walk to drive in a run. It was Teixeira's 500th career RBI.
Andruw Jones followed with a single, Jeff Francoeur drew yet another walk and Atlanta was up 3-0 before Houston even recorded an out.
Before the inning was over, Matt Diaz added a two-run double and Escobar added a two-run single to put Atlanta up 7-0. The Braves sent 11 batters to the plate during the inning.
Houston scored a run in the third and another in the fourth. But it was the elbow injury, not the Astros, that knocked Carlyle out.
Carlyle grimaced after a swing in the bottom of the fifth. And after taking some warmup pitches before the sixth, he was pulled from the game.
The Braves were fine without him, though. Teixeira homered in the sixth on a 2-1 pitch to give Atlanta an 11-3 lead. And the other new Braves made impressive debuts, too.
Ron Mahay pitched a scoreless eighth inning. And Octavio Dotel worked a scoreless ninth.