Braves defang Rattlers, Webb
By: By The Associated Press
Mark Teixeira drove in four runs to help the Atlanta Braves beat Brandon Webb and the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-3 Monday. Webb (9-2) allowed seven runs — four earned — and a season-high 10 hits in 4 1/3 innings, his shortest start since Oct. 1, 2006. He won his first nine decisions before losing 3-1 at Florida last Wednesday. Webb struck out eight, walked three and fell behind 5-1 in the second inning. The hits were the most he allowed since San Diego had 11 last July 15. Manny Acosta (3-1) pitched two hitless innings to win in relief of Jair Jurrjens, who gave up three runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, At the very least, Willie Randolph has more time to try and turn the Mets around. How much more time? Good question. The embattled Randolph got a bit of a reprieve Monday when he kept his job as New York’s manager — for now — after a much-anticipated meeting with ownership. “I didn’t come in thinking that I was going to get fired,” he said. Hours later, however, the Mets kept losing. Mike Pelfrey lasted only four innings and the offense fizzled following an energetic start during a 7-3 loss to the surprising Florida Marlins. “A lot of stuff was taken care of,” Randolph said, describing his entire day. “Now, we move on and try to win some ballgames.” Luis Gonzalez hit a three-run double for the young and hungry Marlins (30-20), who moved 10 games over .500 for the first time since Sept. 14, 2005. They lead the NL East despite a major league-low payroll of $22 million on opening day. Jose Reyes homered twice for the $138 million Mets but committed a two-out error at shortstop in the first that led to two unearned runs. Pelfrey (2-6) dropped his sixth straight start as fourth-place New York (23-26) fell three games below .500 for the first time since Sept. 18, 2005, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Back home after a 1-6 road trip, the Mets lost for the 10th time in 14 games overall. With few fans remaining at Shea Stadium in the late innings, a chant of “Fire Willie!” could clearly be heard. “It’s like being booed,” Randolph said. “It’s the same thing more or less. They’re expressing themselves.” In other NL games, it was: Philadelphia 20, Colorado 5; Chicago 3, Los Angeles 1; and Milwaukee 4, Washington 3 in 11 innings. Earlier in the day, Randolph sat down with owner Fred Wilpon and his son, Jeff, the club’s chief operating officer, as well as general manager Omar Minaya to discuss two things: the team’s sluggish play, and Randolph’s comments last week about his portrayal on Mets broadcasts in which he raised the issue of race. Randolph subsequently apologized for those statements. “Willie’s job was never in danger going into this meeting,” Minaya said. “Willie has my support. He has the support of our ownership. … There is no limbo period. Willie is the manager.” So, was he told he’ll definitely manage the Mets for the rest of the season? “No, they didn’t say that,” Randolph answered. Randolph then met with his players after batting practice, but it didn’t help on the field. After the game, he said he was glad the day was behind him. Coming off a doubleheader sweep of San Francisco on Sunday, the Marlins made their first trip to Shea Stadium since knocking New York out of playoff contention on the final day of last season. Florida looked like the better team this time, too. “They have a lot of distractions going on for that ballclub right now, and scoring those runs early was very nice,” Gonzalez said. “Going from here to Philly and from Philly to Atlanta, it’s an opportunity for us to show that we are a serious contender.” After beating Arizona ace Brandon Webb in his previous outing, Ricky Nolasco (4-3) won his third consecutive decision. He allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings. Doug Waechter, Renyel Pinto and Joe Nelson combined for four innings of perfect relief as Florida pitchers retired their final 15 batters. Cubs 3, Dodgers 1 Derrek Lee and Aramis Ramirez each homered to back Ryan Dempster during Monday’s victory. Lee hit a two-run drive in the first inning off Chad Billingsley (4-6) for his 250th home run, and Ramirez added a solo homer against Scott Proctor in the eighth. Dempster (6-2) gave the bullpen some rest after the Cubs combined to use 11 relievers in consecutive extra-inning losses at Pittsburgh. He allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings before Bob Howry and Kerry Wood finished. Phillies 20, Rockies 5 At Philadelphia, Chase Utley had a career-best six RBI, Jamie Moyer (5-3) struck out a season-high seven and the Phillies scored their most runs since a 21-8 win over the Cubs on July 3, 1999. Utley hit a three-run drive to tie Lance Berkman and Dan Uggla for the major league lead with 16 homers. Chris Coste added a three-run shot and Pedro Feliz had four hits and four RBI. Moyer earned his 235th win. Brewers 4, Nationals 3 At Washington, pinch-hitter Gabe Kapler singled home the decisive run in the 11th after Prince Fielder led off with a double. Salomon Torres got his third save.