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Andruw Jones snaps slump to lead Braves' rally

May 9, 2007 - 3:15 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Andruw Jones picked a good spot to end a long slump.

Jones singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as the Atlanta Braves dumped the San Diego Padres, 3-2, on Tuesday.

Matt Diaz led off the decisive frame with a single off Padres reliever Heath Bell (0-1). After a fielder's choice groundout, Edgar Renteria tripled to right field, tying the contest at 2-2.

Bell intentionally walked Chipper Jones before Andruw Jones looped a first-pitch slider from Bell the opposite way into right-center field, plating Renteria for a 3-2 lead.

"I was looking for a slider and hit it that way," Andruw Jones said. "I'm not a right field hitter, I'm a pull hitter. ... We knew we had a good team that could come out and score some runs. We've been playing good baseball."

"My curveball was just a little flat," Bell said. "I wanted to bury it. He just poked it (into right)."

Andruw Jones entered the contest mired in an 0-for-20 slump.

"Slumps are slumps," the 12-year veteran Andruw Jones said. "I hit a couple of balls hard. Sometimes you're 0-for-21 or 0-for-30. I think I've been 0-for-40 before. I'm not worried. When the season's over, I'll be where I want to be."

Bell entered with a 0.44 ERA, allowing one run in 20 2/3 innings over 16 outings and had not allowed a run in his last 10 1/3 frames.

"I was bound to give up a couple of hits and give up a couple of runs," Bell said. "I think they just found holes and I think my curve ball was a little flat."

Atlanta reliever Rafael Soriano struck out two during a perfect ninth for his third save. Mike Gonzalez (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth to record the win.

"We faced two good bullpens with the Dodgers and these guys," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "But we've got a good (bullpen too). We can match them."

Bell blew what was a sensational season debut for Padres starter Justin Germano, whose contract was purchased from Class AAA Portland earlier Tuesday.

The righthander, who is in his second stint with the Padres, looked nothing like the pitcher who was 1-3 with an 8.04 ERA in nine major league games coming into this one. The 24-year old Germano, who was starting in place of the injured Clay Hensley, scattered one run and three hits in six innings, striking out one and walking two.

"Maturity and experience (were the difference)," Germano said. "I got up a little bit with Cincinnati last year and that's where I made up my mind to go after guys versus nibbling. I needed to get that opportunity to come up (from the minors) again. I knew if I trusted myself and my stuff, I knew it would be different than 2004."

The only offense that Atlanta could muster against Germano came in the sixth. With one out, shortstop Renteria extended his hitting streak to 16 games with a double off the left field wall. Andruw Jones followed by recording his first hit in 22 at-bats with a double, plating Renteria.

Atlanta starter Anthony Lerew made a spectacular 2007 debut, but was saddled with a no-decision.

The fireballing righthander, who was starting in place of the injured and ineffective Mark Redman, was 4-0 with a 1.37 ERA in six starts for Class AAA Richmond and had regained the luster that was lost during his disappointing 2006 minor league campaign, in which the 24-year old was 17-13 with a 5.27 ERA.

Armed with a new arsenal that includes a nasty two-seam sinker, Lerew showed glimpses why he was once considered Atlanta's top pitching prospect, hurling six effective innings, scattering two runs on two hits, walking two and striking out seven in his first major league start.

"Anthony really came through," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "(Pitching coach) Roger (McDowell) taught him that sinker and that new delivery. It really helped him. It's the best I've ever seen Anthony. He was under control on the mound. It was a complete turnaround."

Lerew's only two mistakes ended up going out of the ballpark.

In the third, Mike Cameron connected on Lerew's 3-2 offering for his first homer of the season. Two innings later, left fielder Terrmel Sledge smashed a 3-2 pitch over the left field wall.

"Just two (bad) pitches," Lerew said. "I was really happy with the way things went."

Brian Giles had a single in the eighth to account for the only other hit for San Diego, which had a three-game winning streak snapped.








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

    BATTERIES: SDG - JUSTIN GERMANO, DOUG BROCAIL (7TH), HEATH BELL (8TH), KEVIN
    CAMERON (8TH) AND JOSH BARD
    ATL - ANTHONY LEREW, TYLER YATES (7TH), MIKE GONZALEZ
    (8TH), RAFAEL S

    May 8 9:50 PM
  • 35
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 9:44 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, A JONES ON FIRST, C JONES ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.285, 0-FOR-3)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 9:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY EDGAR RENTERIA SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E RENTERIA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.292, 1-FOR-3)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 9:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A JONES ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.287, 0-FOR-2)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 9:02 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY TERRMEL SLEDGE (4) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 5TH OFF ANTHONY LEREW.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: J GERMANO (.000, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 8:39 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MIKE CAMERON (1) TO LEFT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    3RD OFF ANTHONY LEREW.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: T SLEDGE (.241, 3 HR, 6 RBI)

    Padres vs. BravesMay 8 8:03 PM