Archive for Friday, April 6, 2007

Braves complete sweep of Phils

April 6, 2007

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— The team to beat in the NL East was simply beat up.

Chuck James pitched five solid innings, Kelly Johnson hit a two-run homer and the Atlanta Braves completed a three-game sweep with an 8-4 victory over Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday.

When Jimmy Rollins boldly proclaimed in January that the Phillies should be favorites to win the division, the three-time All-Star shortstop certainly didn't expect an 0-3 start at home.

Meanwhile, the Braves are 3-0 for the first time since opening with seven straight wins in 1994.

"We'll be OK," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's just a matter of us putting a good game together."

Adam Eaton (0-1) was roughed up in his first start since signing a $24.5 million, three-year contract with the Phillies, who selected him in the first round of the 1996 amateur draft and traded him to San Diego four years later. The right-hander allowed eight runs - seven earned - and seven hits in 42â3 innings.

James (1-0) gave up one run and six hits, striking out five.

The Braves rallied late and won the first two games in extra innings. They put this one away with six runs in the fifth, though they made it difficult with five walks in the ninth.

Macay McBride walked the bases loaded and Chad Paronto walked in two runs before Rafael Soriano retired Carlos Ruiz on a popup to shortstop to end the game and record his first save with the Braves.

"It's enormous for us to get off to a good start," Johnson said. "Everyone's been looking at the Mets and Phillies so it's good to set a tone."

Giants 5, Padres 3

San Francisco - Barry Bonds had an RBI double, Ray Durham hit a go-ahead two-run single after a walk to Bonds in the decisive fifth, and Matt Morris pitched six strong innings.

Bruce Bochy beat his old team for his first win as Giants manager, and San Francisco kept from losing its first three games for only the fifth time since the team moved west from New York in 1958.

Josh Bard hit a two-out, two-run single in the ninth for the Padres but Armando Benitez got Mike Cameron to pop out with runners on first and second for his first save.

Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 3

Washington - Chris Young hit a two-run single in the first inning, Orlando Hudson homered in the third, and Arizona held on. The Diamondbacks had a 4-0 lead by the third inning, and Edgar Gonzalez (1-0) and four relievers made it stand up. It helped that the Nationals went 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

Jason Bergmann (0-1) departed after allowing four runs in 3 2-3 innings - which actually lowered the ERA of Washington's starters from 11.37 to 11.02.

Reds 5, Cubs 2

Cincinnati - Michael Barrett's passed ball let in the tiebreaking run during a wild seventh inning that helped Cincinnati rally past Chicago. The Reds took two of three in their opening series by taking advantage of Chicago's self-destructiveness.

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