Braves’ win streak at 10
By GEORGE HENRY
ATLANTA — Kansas City manager Ned Yost won’t hesitate to give the ball to Kelvin Herrera again soon.
Even after a rough outing against the Atlanta Braves.
Herrera (1-1) gave up solo homers in the eighth inning to Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Dan Uggla and the Royals could not recover in a 6-3 loss to the Braves on Tuesday night.
“He was throwing the ball good,” Yost said. “Location wasn’t very good. A lot of pitches were up and kind of down the middle, but he’s been almost unhittable all year long.”
The Braves have won 10 straight games — their best streak since April 15-May 2, 2000 — while Kansas City has dropped three of four.
Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie gave his team a chance to win despite allowing a pair of solo homers to Juan Francisco and leaving for a pinch-hitter in the eighth with the score tied 2-2.
But Herrera, who began the game with two saves and 5 1-3 scoreless innings this season, fell apart after facing Heyward with one out.
Heyward hit the go-ahead homer with an opposite-field shot into the left-field seats. Upton and Uggla followed to make it 5-2.
“I’ve got all the confidence in the world in that guy,” Kansas City right fielder Jeff Francoeur said of Herrera. “Send him out there tomorrow. I feel he’ll go one-two-three. For him, it was one of those nights.”
Eric O’Flaherty (3-0) allowed one hit and struck out two in a scoreless eighth for the win in relief.
Herrera allowed three hits, four runs and one walk in two-thirds of an inning.
After Francisco walked to chase Herrera, Chris Johnson followed with an RBI single off Aaron Crow that scored pinch-runner Jordan Schafer from second.
Luis Avilan recorded the first out of the ninth before seeming to injure his left hamstring. Avilan limped slowly off the field with the help of trainer Jim Lovell and manager Fredi Gonzalez before getting carted off.
Closer Craig Kimbrel finished off the Royals by striking out pinch-hitter Billy Butler, giving up an RBI single to Alex Gordon and retiring Alcides Escobar on a groundout. It was a non-save situation for Kimbrel.
The Royals, who have lost three of four, led 2-1 in the fourth when Salvador Perez reached on Francisco’s throwing error, moved to second on Mike Moustakas’ single and scored on Francoeur’s RBI single.
Except for Francisco, who hit his second homer to make it 1-0 in the second and his third to tie it at 2 in the seventh, the Braves were unable to do much against Guthrie.
Atlanta’s first five batters were a combined 0 for 14 with one walk and five strikeouts against Guthrie, who gave up five hits, two runs and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings. Guthrie was trying to win his eighth straight decision dating to last August.
“I felt good, felt like we mixed it up,” Guthrie said. “Francisco had a great game. He took two really good swings and kind of got their team back into the game.”
Chris Getz tied it at 1 in the third off Braves starter Kris Medlen. Getz, Kansas City’s No. 8 hitter, homered for the first time in nearly four years.
“Tough for us,” Getz said. “We were right there. It’s one of those things that happens. It’s too bad we lost. Too bad (the homer drought) took so long. I saw it on the board as I was hitting, so it definitely added to the satisfaction.”
Medlen, who was trying to improve to 17-3 in his career as a starter, allowed six hits and two runs — one earned — with no walks and five strikeouts in seven innings.
Notes: The Braves held a moment of silence before the game for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings on Monday. … Players, managers and coaches for both teams wore No. 42 on their jerseys to honor Jackie Robinson. … Atlanta committed three errors. … Getz last homered on July 19, 2009, when he played for the Chicago White Sox. He went deep off Guthrie, who was pitching for Baltimore. … Francoeur, a former Braves RF, played his first game at Turner Field with Kansas City. He had an outfield assist and went 2 for 4 with an RBI. … Braves 1B Freddie Freeman said before the game that his right oblique is healing and that he expects to come off the DL as scheduled on April 22 at Colorado. … Braves SS Paul Janish began a rehab assignment Monday at Triple-A Gwinnett.
RANGERS 4, CUBS 2
CHICAGO — Derek Holland pitched seven shutout innings, Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer and Craig Gentry made a diving catch for the final out to preserve Texas’ interleague victory over Chicago on a 39-degree night at Wrigley Field.
Holland (1-1) at one point retired nine straight against the Cubs, who have lost three games in a row. The left-hander struck out six and allowed two hits.
Beltre’s home run off reliever Shawn Camp gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead in the eighth. Chicago starter Travis Wood (1-1) gave up two runs and five hits in 7 1-3 innings.
The Cubs scored twice with two outs in the ninth, but Gentry made a diving grab on Darwin Barney’s bases-loaded liner to give Joe Nathan his fifth save in five tries.
MARLINS 8, NATIONALS 2
MIAMI — Adeiny Hechavarria ended Miami’s nine-game home run drought with a three-run shot against Washington.
A throwing error by Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman — his fourth in five games — preceded the homer and led to four unearned runs.
The Marlins (3-11) began the game with the worst record in the majors but broke out of an offensive slump in the fourth inning with four runs, more than they had scored in all but one game.
Hechavarria sent the Marlins Park home run sculpture swinging into action for the first time this season and ended a homer drought that had tied the 20-year-old franchise record.
Justin Ruggiano had two hits and three RBIs, and Juan Pierre finished with three hits. Alex Sanabia (2-1) allowed two runs in six innings, and two relievers completed an eight-hitter.
Dan Haren (1-2) gave up seven runs, three earned, in 4 1-3 innings and lowered his ERA to 8.10.
The Nationals played without three regulars. Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton sat out for the fifth consecutive game because of a bruised left shoulder.
ROCKIES 8, METS 4
DENVER — Carlos Gonzalez homered and tripled, Todd Helton hit a go-ahead single and Colorado beat New York in the opening game of a doubleheader that was delayed 2 hours as 8 inches of snow was cleared off the field.
One day after a spring storm postponed the first game of the series, the teams were scheduled to play two in frigid conditions. The temperature at first pitch was 39 degrees and dipped to 36 for the nightcap.
David Wright homered twice for the Mets, finally back on the field after cold weather postponed two straight games. Wintry conditions in Minneapolis on Sunday prompted their game against the Twins to be rescheduled in August.
Juan Nicasio (2-0) allowed four runs in five innings. Dillon Gee (0-3) had another rough outing for the Mets, going 4 2-3 innings and giving up five earned runs.
Early in the morning, Rockies owner Dick Monfort took the field with a shovel and helped clear the way for the game to be played. A crew of team employees lent a hand as well, as did Sandy Alderson, the general manager of the Mets.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Mike Napoli hit a three-run double in Boston’s seven-run second inning and the Red Sox, playing with heavy hearts one day after the deadly bombings back home, beat the Cleveland Indians 7-2 on Tuesday night.
Boston’s players were already en route to Cleveland when they learned of the explosions near the Boston Marathon’s finish line that killed three and injured more than 170. The Red Sox were hoping to bring some relief to those affected by the tragedy, and they may have while winning their fourth straight.
The series opener was also Indians manager Terry Francona’s first game against the Red Sox, the team he led to two World Series titles during eight seasons in Boston.
Helped by five walks, the Red Sox scored seven runs in the second off Ubaldo Jimenez (0-2) and gave Felix Doubront (1-0) all the support he needed.
Monday’s tragic events in Boston brought a somber tone to Francona’s reunion as well as to the Red Sox. Before the game, in a clubhouse devoid of its usual pregame sound and bustle, several players spoke of how a memorable Patriots Day win over Tampa Bay turned horrific.
ORIOLES 5, RAYS 4
BALTIMORE (AP) — Matt Wieters homered, Nate McLouth scored twice, and the Baltimore Orioles beat the struggling Tampa Bay Rays despite allowing three home runs.
The Orioles let a four-run cushion dwindle to 5-4 in the eighth, but held on for their fifth straight home win over the Rays, dating to last year.
Desmond Jennings homered on the game’s first pitch for Tampa Bay, and Kelly Johnson and Evan Longoria connected off Pedro Strop in the eighth. But the Rays could muster only six hits against Jake Arrieta (1-2) and five relievers.
Roberto Hernandez (0-3) took the loss for last-place Tampa Bay, which has lost four straight and seven of eight. With a 4-9 record, Tampa Bay has matched the worst start in franchise history (2001 and 2005).
WHITE SOX 4, BLUE JAYS 3
TORONTO (AP) — Dayan Viciedo doubled home the go-ahead run in the ninth inning and the Chicago White Sox rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays.
Paul Konerko hit a game-tying homer and scored three runs as the White Sox won for just the second time in eight games. Matt Lindstrom (1-0) got one out for the win and Addison Reed finished for his fifth save in as many opportunities.
Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays, who couldn’t hold on after taking a 2-1 lead in the sixth. Steve Delabar (1-1) allowed two runs and one hit in 1 1-3 innings.
YANKEES 4, DIAMONDBACKS 2
NEW YORK (AP) — Robinson Cano paid tribute to Jackie Robinson in fitting fashion by hitting a three-run homer, and the New York Yankees beat the Arizona Diamondbacks on a night devoted to honoring victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Cano, whose big league father Jose named him for Robinson, connected on the day when all players, managers, coaches and umpires at Yankee Stadium wore No. 42 to salute the late Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer. Major League Baseball held Jackie Robinson Day on Monday, the anniversary of the date he broke the color barrier in 1947. The Yankees and Diamondbacks were off Monday.
Mariano Rivera, the last big leaguer still wearing No. 42 on a daily basis, closed for his third save.
The Yankees also remembered Boston, home of their longtime rivals, by playing the Fenway Park favorite “Sweet Caroline” after the third inning. Yankees fans sang along with the Neil Diamond hit as it came over the public-address system, and some people in the crowd wore Red Sox hats and jerseys.
Ivan Nova (1-1) labored through five innings for the win. Brandon McCarthy (0-2) took the loss.
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