Rookie powers Braves past Dodgers


Associated Press

ATLANTA — The Braves already knew rookie Evan Gattis is an impressive power hitter. He’s also proving a quick learner.

Gattis took advantage of some last-second tips from teammate Justin Upton before hitting a go-ahead, two-run homer off Kenley Jansen in the eighth inning, and the Atlanta Braves rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Saturday night.

Andrelton Simmons followed Gattis with another homer off Jansen after each listened to quick reminders from Upton on the right-hander’s signature cutters.

“I remembered (Upton) said something about (Jansen) in the advance meeting, so I wanted to go to him to see what I could get,” Gattis said. “Whatever I could get in an at-bat like that was going to help.”

Gattis said Upton’s advice was to avoid cutters that appeared to be bound for the middle of the plate, because they would break off the plate. Gattis said Upton’s instruction was to wait on a pitch “starting at you, or it looks like it’s starting at you. That’s going to be the one that you want.”

Gattis fouled off two cutters before hitting the line-drive homer.

Jansen (1-2) said Gattis “just hit a good pitch.”

“What could I do?” Jansen asked. “I’m not going to let that bother me. Tip your hat. He hit a good pitch. You’ve got to go in there. Period. He’s creeping up on home plate every time I’m throwing outside. I put it where I wanted to put it.”

Gattis has eight homers and ranks third in the majors with six game-winning RBIs.

“Awesome,” said Simmons of Gattis. “He’s awesome. Just amazing. That’s all you can say. Pretty much you saw it coming, but just seeing it is awesome. He’s a great hitter. He’s always ready to go and he’s fun to watch.”

Gattis, primarily a catcher, also has played left field and first base. The recent returns of catcher Brian McCann and right fielder Jason Heyward from the disabled list may make it difficult for Gattis to find regular playing time, but he said he enjoys pinch-hitting.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez sees a benefit in having Gattis available as a pinch-hitter.

“He likes these moments, it seems like,” Gonzalez said. “It’s almost better that you can put him in anywhere you want, but sooner or later we’ve got to get him three or four at-bats.”

Kris Medlen, Cory Gearrin, and Craig Kimbrel combined on a two-hitter for Atlanta.

Chris Capuano led 1-0 before he allowed a one-out single to B.J. Upton in the eighth. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought in Jansen (1-2), the hard-throwing right-hander, to face Gattis even though Capuano had allowed just five hits and thrown only 91 pitches.

“I’m not going to let him lose that game,” Mattingly said of Capuano.

Capuano said he told Mattingly after his last at-bat in the eighth inning to be prepared to pull him out of the game because he had lingering problems with a strained calf.

“It wasn’t affecting pitch execution out there,” Capuano said. “It just feels a little tired. I’ve got an extra day before the next start. With treatment and stuff we should be able to get that ready.”

Gearrin (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth in relief of Medlen, who gave up two hits and one unearned run in seven innings. Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save.

The Dodgers, who have lost two straight to the Braves after winning four of five, scored their only run in the fourth. Adrian Gonzalez walked and scored on Skip Schumaker’s double to the left-field corner and left fielder Justin Upton’s fielding error. Schumaker wasn’t given an RBI.

The only other hit allowed by Medlen was a second-inning single by Tim Federowicz.

“Medlen was outstanding,” Gonzalez said. “He was ready for one of these games. You saw seven innings of him being the Medlen of last year.”

Chris Johnson had three hits for the Braves, who won after finding themselves in a sudden bullpen crisis.

Before the game, Braves general manager Frank Wren said an MRI revealed a tear in Eric O’Flaherty’s left ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. O’Flaherty was placed on the disabled list and could face season-ending surgery.

On Thursday, left-hander Jonny Venters had Tommy John surgery for the second time, ending his season. On Friday, right-hander Jordan Walden was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of shoulder inflammation.

Medlen, who had been 0 for 13 this season, had a brief celebration in the third inning when he had a bloop single for his first hit. Standing and smiling on first base, Medlen lifted his hands to the sky before giving first-base coach Terry Pendleton a hug.

Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp leaped and reached over the wall to take a home run away from Heyward in the first inning. Heyward took off his helmet while crossing second base. Just when it appeared he might toss the headgear in disgust, Heyward instead lifted the helmet toward Kemp in a gesture of respect.

DIAMONDBACKS 1, MARLINS 0

MIAMI — Brandon McCarthy pitched a three-hitter for his first win since being struck in the head by a line drive last season.

Gerardo Parra led off the game with a home run for Arizona, which has won four in a row. Miami has dropped a season-worst seven straight games.

McCarthy (1-3) struck out five and walked two while throwing 68 of 99 pitches for strikes in his third career shutout. He was hit in the head by an Erick Aybar liner on Sept 5. 2012, against the Angels while with Oakland. He suffered a skull fracture and underwent surgery that ended his season.

Parra’s home run to right-center field came on the first pitch from Tom Koehler (0-2). It was Parra’s third career leadoff home run.

REDS 10, PHILLIES 0

PHILADELPHIA — Bronson Arroyo pitched five-hit ball over 7 2-3 innings and Joey Votto was 4 for 4 with a homer, leading Cincinnati to the victory.

Arroyo (4-4) struck out six and allowed one runner to reach third in winning his third straight start against Philadelphia. He was 1-7 in his first 10 games against the Phillies, but has figured them out over the last two seasons.

Votto had a two-run shot and walked twice to reach safely six times. Ryan Hanigan hit a three-run homer.

Kyle Kendrick (4-2) gave up four runs and eight hits with a season-high four walks in six innings. Kendrick hadn’t allowed more than two runs in his previous seven starts.

Cincinnati won for the seventh time in its last eight games and improved to 4-1 against the Phillies this year.

PADRES 2, NATIONALS 1

SAN DIEGO — Everth Cabrera singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth against Jordan Zimmermann, and Yonder Alonso homered and helped turn a heads-up double-play for San Diego.

Zimmermann (7-2) was trying to become the first player in the majors to eight wins this season.

Cabrera singled in Alex Amarista, who reached when catcher Kurt Suzuki fielded his bunt and forced John Baker at second. Zimmermann tried to pick off Amarista but his throw was wide of first baseman Adam LaRoche for an error, allowing Amarista to take second.

Cabrera’s hit made a winner of Eric Stults (4-3). The left-hander went a season-high eight innings, allowing one run and four hits while striking out five and walking two.

Huston Street pitched the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.

CUBS 8, METS 2

CHICAGO — Scott Feldman pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning and drove in two runs with a big two-out double, helping Chicago to its fifth win in seven games.

The Cubs can win three straight series for the first time with a victory on Sunday. Anthony Rizzo had two hits and his first home run since signing a seven-year contract on Monday.

Chicago was going for its first shutout since a victory over Colorado on Aug. 26, but Rick Ankiel broke it up with a two-run homer off Hector Rondon with one out in the ninth.

Feldman (4-3) allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked one in 6 2-3 innings. The right-hander improved to 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA in five games since he lost each of his first three starts in his first year with the Cubs.

Mets starter Jeremy Hefner lost his fifth straight decision to start the season. Hefner (0-5) was charged with four runs and five hits in four innings.

ROCKIES 10, GIANTS 2

DENVER — Tyler Chatwood threw into the sixth inning and Wilin Rosario hit a two-run homer off Tim Lincecum in Colorado’s rout of San Francisco.

Promoted from Triple-A Colorado Springs before the game for his second stint with the Rockies this season, Chatwood (2-0) had a shaky second inning but settled in after that and handcuffed the Giants, who managed one run and six hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Rosario made a nifty defensive play to thwart a big second inning and drove in three runs for the Rockies, who beat the Giants for the second straight time after snapping a 10-game losing streak to them with a 10-9 win one night earlier, ending their longest streak over a division opponent since divisional play began in 1969, according to STATS.

Lincecum (3-3) committed a costly throwing error that led to a three-run third inning and also had a balk when he slipped off the mound that led to another run in the fourth before Rosario took him deep for his ninth homer in the fifth.

BREWERS 6, CARDINALS 4, 10 INNINGS

ST. LOUIS — Jeff Bianchi drove in two runs with a 10th-inning single up the middle, lifting Milwaukee over St. Louis.

Joe Kelly (0-2) allowed runs for the first time in five appearances and took the loss. He allowed two hits and a walk in one inning for the Cardinals, who fell to 0-3 in extra-inning games.

John Axford (1-3) gave up one hit and two walks in 1 1-3 innings to earn the win. Axford struck out two, including pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso with the bases loaded to end a ninth-inning threat.

Jim Henderson worked a perfect inning for his eighth save in eight chances.

ASTROS 4, PIRATES 2, 11 INNINGS

PITTSBURGH — Jason Castro led off the 11th inning with a double and scored the go-ahead run on a close play, giving Houston its second win in three games after losing six straight.

Castro doubled off the top of the center-field fence against Bryan Morris (1-2), and Carlos Pena was intentionally walked one out later. The runners moved up on a wild pitch and Castro scored when he beat second baseman Neil Walker’s throw home on Matt Dominguez’s fielder’s choice grounder.

Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle argued the call with plate umpire C.B. Bucknor and was ejected. Pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez followed with an RBI single to make it 4-2.

Rookie Jose Cisnero struck out five in 3 2-3 scoreless relief innings for his first major league win.

RAYS 10, ORIOLES 6

BALTIMORE — Matt Joyce hit a big two-run double in a six-run ninth-inning rally, ending Baltimore’s franchise-record streak of 109 straight wins when leading after seven innings.

Joyce also homered and finished 3 for 5 with five RBIs.

It was the third straight road victory for the Rays, all of them come-from-behind wins.

Trailing 6-4, Kelly Johnson hit a one-out homer off Jim Johnson (1-4), whose club-record streak of 35 straight saves ended Tuesday.

Johnson then loaded the bases on two walks and a hit before Joyce doubled to the right-center gap for a 7-6 lead. Ben Zobrist followed with a two-run double off Darren O’Day, who later issued a bases-loaded walk to Luke Scott.

Adam Jones and Chris Davis homered for the Orioles, who have lost four straight.

Alex Torres (1-0) worked four hitless innings for the victory.

ANGELS 12, WHITE SOX 9

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Alberto Callaspo hit a three-run homer in Los Angeles’ five-run seventh inning, and the Angels snapped Chicago’s four-game winning streak.

Callaspo also had a pair of sacrifice flies to give him five RBIs on the day. Mark Trumbo added his 10th homer for Los Angeles, which finished with 17 hits.

Robert Coello (1-0) recorded his first major league victory, retiring all five batters he faced and striking out three after relieving Joe Blanton after another ineffective performance. Ernesto Frieri got four outs for his eighth save.

Hector Gimenez had four hits and three RBIs for the White Sox, who allowed only 10 runs during their winning streak. Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez had three hits apiece, and Adam Dunn drove in two runs before leaving in the fifth because of back spasms. Nate Jones (0-4) got the loss.

INDIANS 5, MARINERS 4

CLEVELAND — Jason Kipnis scored the winning run in the ninth inning when Brendan Ryan’s throw pulled catcher Jesus Montero off the plate, sending the Indians to the victory.

Kipnis, who won Friday’s game with a three-run homer in the 10th, sparked the winning rally with a leadoff single against Oliver Perez (1-1). He moved to third on Asdrubal Cabrera’s double and Nick Swisher was walked intentionally to load the bases.

Mark Reynolds then hit a sharp ground ball that forced Ryan to make a diving stop, and he was unable to get the forceout at home.

The dramatic victory came after Chris Perez (2-0) blew a save opportunity in the top half of the inning, allowing two-out solo homers to Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak. Reynolds hit his 12th homer and finished with three RBIs as Cleveland won for the 16th time in its last 20 games.

YANKEES 7, BLUE JAYS 2

NEW YORK — Robinson Cano hit a pair of two-run homers to back a solid effort by David Phelps, and the Yankees beat the Blue Jays for the ninth straight time at Yankee Stadium.

Phelps (2-2) struck out eight while allowing one run in a season-high seven innings, helping New York beat Toronto for the eighth time in nine games this season.

Cano connected off Brandon Morrow with two outs in the third after Brett Gardner drove in the first run of the game with an RBI single. Cano also hit one off Morrow (1-3) with two out in the fifth, a shot that gave him his second multihomer game of the year. He has 12 such games for his career.

Travis Hafner returned to the Yankees’ lineup after missing five games because of right shoulder inflammation and hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning.

Edwin Encarnacion connected for his 12th homer for Toronto.

RANGERS 7, TIGERS 2

ARLINGTON, Texas — Elvis Andrus had a career-high five hits, Mitch Moreland homered and Texas roughed up Anibal Sanchez in its victory over Detroit.

Andrus scored three runs, had two RBIs and stole a pair of bases as he hit leadoff for the second straight game in place of ailing second baseman Ian Kinsler. Andrus finished off his 5-for-5 game with a single to right in the eighth.

Moreland hit a solo shot off Sanchez leading off the third, his 10th home run of the season.

Sanchez (4-4) gave up a season-high six runs in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest start in almost two years. The right-hander yielded nine hits, walked two and struck out two.

The Rangers (28-15) have the best record in the American League, one game better than the New York Yankees.

Texas starter Justin Grimm (3-3) gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings to snap a three-game losing streak.

RED SOX 12, TWINS 5

MINNEAPOLIS — David Ortiz homered twice and drove in six runs to torment his former team once again, leading Boston over the Minnesota.

Dustin Pedroia had two hits, two walks and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to 10 games. Daniel Nava also went deep for the Red Sox, who have won four straight following a slide in which they had lost 10 of 14.

Scott Diamond (3-4) gave up six runs on eight hits and walked three in 4 1-3 innings for the Twins, who have lost four in a row to fall into last place in the AL Central. Pedro Florimon had two hits and two RBIs and Joe Mauer extended his hitting streak to 15 games with two hits.

Craig Breslow (1-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings of scoreless relief for the win. Ortiz also had a single and a walk, raising his batting average to .362 in a game that lasted 3 hours, 53 minutes.

ATHLETICS 2, ROYALS 1

OAKLAND, Calif. — Brandon Moss hit a tiebreaking triple in the sixth inning to help Tommy Milone outduel Ervin Santana in Oakland’s win over Kansas City.

The A’s had just five hits and were held to two runs for the third consecutive game but made it hold up in front of a rare sellout crowd at the Oakland Coliseum. The A’s also beat Kansas City 2-1 on Friday.

Milone (4-5) wasn’t crisp and pitched with runners on base in all but one of his six innings. The left-hander allowed a run in the first inning then blanked the Royals the rest of the way to end his five-game losing streak.

Billy Butler singled twice and drove in the only run for Kansas City, which has lost nine of 12.

Santana (3-3) pitched much more effectively than Milone but was denied in his third attempt at earning his 100th career victory.

 

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