Atlanta closer Kimbrel falters in latest 11th frame Rattlers
Posted: Thursday, May 19, 2011 6:10 pm
PHOENIX (AP) — This time, 11 innings wasn’t the winning formula for the Atlanta Braves.
A day after the Braves earned a 3-1 victory in 11 at home, closer Craig Kimbrel faltered in the bottom of the 11th Wednesday, allowing the Arizona Diamondbacks to score twice and rally for a 5-4 win.
Ryan Roberts’ single back through the box in the 11th went off Kimbrel’s glove and just out of the reach of second baseman Dan Uggla. Roberts moved to third base on the game-tying single by Kelly Johnson, and scored the winning run on Justin Upton’s ground ball.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “You can’t run the clock out. You’ve got to throw the ball over the plate and the kid (Kimbrel’s) trying to make play there, the ball up the middle, it’s a double-play ball. But you can’t fault him for that.”
The loss ended the Braves’ four-game winning streak as Kimbrel blew his fourth save chance in 15 opportunities.
“I should have made the play,” Kimbrel said of the deflection.
With the Braves trailing 2-1 in the seventh, Brooks Conrad delivered a game-tying RBI double. He then scored on Martin Prado’s sacrifice fly. The Diamondbacks tied it in the bottom half of the inning, Roberts scoring from second base on a wild pitch by reliever Scott Proctor.
Diamondbacks starter Joe Saunders pitched six innings and allowed a run on seven hits. Saunders is winless in nine starts this season.
Two outfield assists in the same inning by left fielder Gerardo Parra kept Arizona within striking distance. Parra prevented a potential big inning in the sixth after the Braves put runners on second and third with no out.
Brian McCann hit a fly ball that Parra tracked down before it went over his head and off the wall, a sacrifice fly that scored Jason Heyward.
Chipper Jones broke for third with Parra backtracking, and the left-fielder threw him out trying to advance.
“He got the best of us there,” Jones said of Parra. “It’s always odd when we play here … this is kind of like our Yankee Stadium. It’s a house of horrors.”
Saunders walked Uggla, who tried to take third base on Freddie Freeman’s single to shallow left. Parra threw out Uggla and ran off the field pumping his fist. Parra became the first Diamondbacks outfielder to record two assists in one inning.
The Diamondbacks scored the game’s first two runs, the first on Upton’s solo home run in the first and the second on a run-scoring single by Roberts in the fourth.
Prado’s single to start the game gave him a 10-game hitting streak. Braves starter Julio Teheran, recalled from the minors earlier Wednesday, got through only four innings and is expected to be sent back to Triple-A.
Notes: The Diamondbacks made roster moves before Wednesday’s game after designating pitcher Armando Galarraga for assignment late Tuesday. Infielder Sean Burroughs, out of pro baseball since June 2007, was selected from Triple-A Reno, and Arizona reinstated utility player Willie Bloomquist from the 15-day disabled list. … 3B Melvin Mora was placed on the bereavement list with no timetable set for his return. … Burroughs said he shed some tears of emotion when he got the call to join the Diamondbacks. “It’s been a long journey. I’ve been through a lot. A lot of ups, a lot of downs,” he said. “If you’d have told me 12, 14 months ago that I’d be playing baseball in general anywhere I don’t know if I would believe you.” … Manager Kirk Gibson has to find a new starting pitcher for Saturday, which would have been Galarraga’s turn in the rotation. He said he has yet to talk to general manager Kevin Towers about what exactly will be done, but didn’t rule out an external candidate not currently on the major-league roster. … Braves RHP Cory Gearrin was optioned to AAA Gwinnett to make room for Teheran. … RHP Peter Moylan will see Los Angeles physician Dr. Robert Watkins for further evaluation Friday after having had surgery on his lower back Tuesday.