Braves a dependable foe to help Phillies get back on track
Posted: Wednesday, July 2, 2008 2:05 pm
By: By The Associated Press
All the Philadelphia Phillies needed to get out of their interleague doldrums was a visit to division rival Atlanta.
Shane Victorino hit a home run and drove in four runs and the Phillies beat the Braves 8-3 on Tuesday night to remain unbeaten at Turner Field this season and spoil the return of Chipper Jones.
Pat Burrell also hit a homer for the Phillies, who improved to 6-1 against the Braves this season. They are 4-0 in Atlanta.
“I don’t know what it is,” said Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick, who gave up seven hits and three runs in six innings. He improved to 2-0 against the Braves this season and 3-0 in his career.
The Phillies took three straight wins in Atlanta on June 6-8 but then lost six straight series, including four against American League teams.
Manager Charlie Manuel said his team may have found comfort in facing the Braves, a familiar opponent.
“Yeah, it can help you without a doubt,” Manuel said.
“Maybe (Monday’s) day off helped us too, and absolutely getting over here where we know the players.”
In other NL games, it was: New York 7, St. Louis 4; Washington 9, Florida 6; Colorado 4, San Diego 0; Pittsburgh 6, Cincinnati 5, 11 innings; Los Angeles 7, Houston 6, 11 innings; Milwaukee 8, Arizona 6; and San Francisco 2, Chicago 1.
The Phillies, only 4-11 in interleague play, are 41-28 against NL teams.
“It’s nice to come back to the division and win a game in our division,” Victorino said. “It’s definitely a big win, especially the first game back playing a division team.”
Jones, who had missed eight straight starts with a strained right quadriceps, was 1-for-3 with a double and two walks. He had been expected to go on the DL but instead told manager Bobby Cox before the game that he was ready to play.
Mets 7, Cardinals 4
At St. Louis, Tony Armas won his season debut after being called up from the minor leagues and eighth-place hitter Ramon Castro had two hits and three RBI in New York’s victory over St. Louis.
David Wright hit his 16th homer and lacked a triple for the cycle in an offense that had 14 hits after mustering six runs while dropping three of the previous four games.
The Mets punished Todd Wellemeyer (7-3), the National League pitcher of the month in May but 1-2 with a 6.52 ERA and two missed turns in the rotation due to elbow woes since.
Giants 2, Cubs 1
At San Francisco, Matt Cain struck out 10 in eight shutout innings, third baseman Jose Castillo made a great diving stop in the eighth to save a hit and the Giants beat the Cubs.
Fred Lewis stole home, scored both runs and had the first two hits against Chicago starter Jason Marquis (6-5) to help Cain’s winning cause.
Manager Bruce Bochy stuck with Cain (5-6) in the eighth even with his pitch count already over 100, and Cain matched his season high with eight innings in his team-leading 18th start.
Brian Wilson recorded the final three outs for his National League-leading 23rd save in 25 opportunities.
Nationals 9, Marlins 6
At Miami, Collin Balester won his debut, and Ronnie Belliard hit a grand slam to give Washington a win over Florida.
Balester gave up one hit and struck out three in five innings to become the first Nationals starting pitcher to win his big league debut. Balester became the first franchise starter to win his debut since Dan Smith on June 8, 1999, when the club was still in Montreal.
Mark Hendrickson (7-7) allowed six runs and 10 hits in six innings for the Marlins. Florida’s opening-day starter is 0-5 in seven starts since beating San Francisco on May 25.
Rockies 4, Padres 0
At Denver, Aaron Cook tossed a five-hitter for the first shutout of his career, and the Colorado Rockies ended an eight-game losing streak with a win over the Padres.
Cook (11-5) struck out four and needed 79 pitches and 1 hour, 58 minutes for his second complete game of the season, eighth of his career. He didn’t allow a runner past first base and faced just three batters over the minimum.
Josh Banks (2-3) went five innings and allowed all four runs for the Padres, who have lost 13 of their last 15.
Pirates 6, Reds 5 (11)
At Cincinnati, The Pittsburgh Pirates blew two more late leads, but Jack Wilson — batting at the very bottom of the order — hit a tiebreaking triple in the 11th inning that set up a victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Wilson’s run-scoring triple off David Weathers (2-4) snapped a 4-all tie in the 11th, and Nate McLouth followed with a run-scoring single that gave the Pirates just enough.
Struggling Matt Capps (2-3) got the victory despite blowing a one-run lead in the 10th, when the Reds tied it on Brandon Phillips’ single. Capps has blown save chances in the first two games of the series.
Dodgers 7, Astros 6 (11)
At Houston, Jeff Kent hit a solo homer off Wesley Wright in the 11th inning and the Dodgers, who blew a five-run lead, rallied to beat the Astros.
Kent also had an RBI double and Russell Martin hit a two-run homer as the Dodgers needed their highest run total since June 19 to defeat the Astros for the first time in five meetings this season.
Chan Ho Park (4-2) got Lance Berkman to fly out to end the ninth, then pitched a scoreless 10th. After Kent homered off Wright (3-3), Takashi Saito pitched a perfect 11th for his 13th save.
Brewers 8, D’backs 6
At Phoenix, J.J. Hardy homered twice and the Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks, handing Randy Johnson his sixth straight loss.
Joe Dillon also homered for the Brewers, who beat Arizona for the fourth time in five meetings. The NL West leaders dropped to 42-42 and saw their lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers shrink to 2 1/2 games.
Jeff Suppan (5-6) gave up all six runs, but earned the win. Salomon Torres got three outs for his 14th save in 16 chances.
The Big Unit (4-7) allowed seven runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings, his shortest start of the season.