for this game

Braves continue two-out magic, rally past Dodgers

May 6, 2007 - 9:18 PM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The two-out runs keep coming in bunches for the Atlanta Braves.

The Braves sent 10 batters to the plate in a five-run seventh inning and rookie Jarrod Saltalamacchia drove in the winning run with a single in the frame for a 6-4 victory Sunday over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the rubber game of the three-game series.

Coming into Sunday, the Braves led the majors by scoring 77 of their 149 runs this season with two out. They padded that stat by scoring four more with two away.

"You have to the ability to break the other team's will if you get big two out hits," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. "We've done it a couple times this year. It just seems like our last gasp is very important. More times than not, we're scoring."

Down, 4-1, facing a Los Angeles club that was 15-0 when leading after six innings and a reliever in Chin-Hui Tsao who had limited opponents to one hit in 37 at bats this season and had not allowed a run in his first nine appearances, the Braves did the improbable.

Willie Harris led off with a walk and Kelly Johnson extended his hitting streak to 11 games by lacing a double down the left field line.

Edgar Renteria followed with a double into the gap in right-center field, plating Harris and Johnson to cut the deficit to 4-3.

After Jeff Francoeur fouled out, Tsao (0-1) walked Andruw Jones and struck out pinch hitter Chipper Jones on a checked swing. Chipper Jones and manager Bobby Cox were both ejected by third base umpire Bob Davidson for arguing the call.

But the two-out magic continued, pinch hitter Scott Thorman followed by lacing a single past a diving Jeff Kent at second to tie the game, chasing Tsao and setting the stage for Saltalamacchia.

The rookie, who was recalled from Class AA Mississippi on Thursday and collected his first major league hit in his prior at-bat, collected his first major league RBI by smashing the first offering from reliever Chad Billingsly to right field, plating Andruw Jones to give Atlanta the lead.

"(The at bat) was the most calm I've felt," Saltalamacchia said. "I've played against (Billingsly) and I've caught him before. ... I knew he had a hard fastball. I was sitting on a fastball."

"Salty's going to be a player," Chipper Jones said. "We have a nice luxury, we have two stud catchers. We're going to have to find a spot for him. He's ready. I think he's been ready to be honest with you." Chris Woodward followed with a single to center, scoring Thorman to cap the inning.

"We made a nice comeback," Cox said. "We're seeing some of the top bullpens. It was great for us to come back from three runs down."

Tsao was torched for five runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning to see his ERA rise to 3.97.

"I feel sad today," Tsao said. "It felt the same, my location, my movement, everything was great. I don't know."

"They're always hard when you let one slip away," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "I guess we all got spoiled. It's been lights out with the bullpen."

Atlanta starter Kyle Davies allowed four runs and six hits, walked two and struck out six in 6 2/3 innings. Chad Paronto (2-0) finished the seventh to record the win. Rafael Soriano hurled a perfect eighth and Mike Gonzalez pitched a scoreless ninth to record his first save as member of the Braves.

The Dodgers wasted a strong performance by Randy Wolf. The lefthander, who was a shaky 0-2 with a 9.18 ERA in his last four games against the Braves, allowed one run and six hits, walking two and tied a season high by striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings.

Los Angeles took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

With Wilson Betemit mired in an 8-for-57 slump, the Dodgers benched the former Brave and recalled top prospect Andy LaRoche, the son of former pitcher Dave LaRoche, from Class AAA Las Vegas.

The move paid immediate dividends. With one out, the 23-year-old LaRoche laced a ground-rule double for his first major league hit. He was plated three pitches later on a single by Andre Ethier, who eventually scored on a single by Mike Lieberthal.

Betemit, who was benched by manager Grady Little on Saturday and lost his job to LaRoche on Sunday, responded by hitting his second pinch homer in as many days in the seventh to extend the lead to 4-1. He became the first Dodger to hit pinch hit homers in consecutive at bats since Todd Benzinger accomplished the feat in 1992.

Renteria extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a one-out single in the first and scored one out later on Matt Diaz's single.

Atlanta has not lost a series at home this season.








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    LA DODGERS 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 4 7 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 x 6 11 2 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: LOS - RANDY WOLF, RUDY SEANEZ (6TH), CHIN-HUI TSAO (7TH), CHAD
    BILLINGSLEY (7TH) AND MIKE LIEBERTHAL
    ATL - KYLE DAVIES, CHAD PARONTO (7TH), RAFAEL SORIANO
    (8TH), M

    May 6 4:02 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHRIS WOODWARD SCORED SCOTT THORMAN.
    SITUATION: 5 RUNS IN, C WOODWARD ON FIRST, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON
    SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ATLANTA 6 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: W HARRIS (.500, 0-FOR-0, BB)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 3:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JARROD SALTALAMACCHIA SCORED ANDRUW JONES.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, J SALTALAMACCHIA ON FIRST, S THORMAN ON
    THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ATLANTA 5 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C WOODWARD (.194, 0-FOR-3)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 3:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY SCOTT THORMAN SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, S THORMAN ON FIRST, A JONES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J SALTALAMACCHIA (.200, 1-FOR-3)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 3:29 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY EDGAR RENTERIA SCORED WILLIE HARRIS AND KELLY
    JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, E RENTERIA ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.304, 1-FOR-2, BB)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 3:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY WILSON BETEMIT (2) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF KYLE DAVIES SCORED MIKE LIEBERTHAL.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 4, ATLANTA 1
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R FURCAL (.226, 0-FOR-3)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 2:59 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MIKE LIEBERTHAL SCORED ANDRE ETHIER.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M LIEBERTHAL ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 2
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: R WOLF (.167, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 2:16 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDRE ETHIER SCORED ANDY LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A ETHIER ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    ATLANTA 1 TOP, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: M LIEBERTHAL (.133, 0-FOR-1)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 2:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT DIAZ SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M DIAZ ON FIRST, J FRANCOEUR ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C WILSON (.176, 1 HR, 2 RBI)

    Dodgers vs. BravesMay 6 1:22 PM