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Francoeur's single in the ninth helps Braves edge Pirates

Jul 15, 2007 - 4:51 AM ATLANTA (Ticker) -- After helping the Atlanta Braves to a solid lead early on, Jeff Francoeur became the hero at the end.

Francoeur's RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning helped the Braves hold off the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-4, on Saturday.

Andruw Jones hit a two-run homer and Edgar Renteria scored twice for Atlanta, which has won 11 of 15 as it continues to challenge the New York Mets for first place in the National League East Division. The Braves remained 1 1/2 games behind the Mets after New York's 2-1 triumph over Cincinnati on Saturday.

With the game tied at 4-4 in the ninth, Willie Harris hit an infield single off reliever Shawn Chacon (4-2) and was sacrificed to second. After Renteria popped out to shortstop, Chipper Jones was walked intentionally.

Andruw Jones also was walked on a 3-2 offering, and Francoeur hit a 2-2 pitch up the middle to win the contest.

"I was hoping for something over the plate," Francoeur said. "I was able to put enough wood on it and get it through the middle."

"Jeff's done (that) a lot, especially with two outs," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He had a good night."

The hit made a winner of Bob Wickman (2-2), who struck out two in the top of the ninth.

Pittsburgh had trailed, 4-0, in the seventh before tying the game.

Working in relief of Braves starter Chuck James, Tyler Yates issued a one-out walk to Jason Bay, who advanced to second on a single by Jose Castillo. Bay then scored on an infield hit to third by Ronny Paulino that was thrown away by Chipper Jones.

After Yates struck out Jack Wilson, he was replaced by Rafael Soriano, who promptly surrendered a three-run homer by pinch hitter Ryan Doumit that knotted the game at 4-4.

"Lefthanders are hitting .150 against (Soriano)," Cox said. "I thought he was a lock to probably strike the guy out."

It was the second career pinch homer for Doumit, who entered the contest as the only Pirate sporting a batting average over .300 (.305).

"It was a fastball right down the middle," Doumit said. "It was a pitch that I could handle."

James had continued his dominance vs. the Pirates, scattering two hits with four strikeouts and three walks in six scoreless frames. The Atlanta-area native, who allowed just one hit in seven scoreless innings in his only other career start against Pittsburgh on May 12, hurled first-pitch strikes to the first 11 batters he faced and 18 of 21 overall.

Andruw Jones continued his recent hot streak, smashing the 3-2 offering from Pittsburgh starter Tom Gorzelanny the opposite way over the right field wall for his 17th homer, giving Atlanta a 3-0 lead in the first inning. It was the fourth shot of the month for Andruw Jones, who batted a miserable .143 (15-for-105) with four homers in June.

"He threw me a changup," Andruw Jones said. "It was over the plate. I had a good swing at it."

The 30-year-old Andruw Jones, who was batting just .199 (62-for-311) through July 5, has had a renaissance at the plate over his last five games, collecting eight hits in his last 16 at-bats to raise his average 15 points to .214.

"I got a little ache here and ache there," said Andruw Jones, who is bothered by a strained right quadriceps. "I'm trying to work myself into a zone. Whatever they're throwing, I'm going to hit."

Francoeur extended the lead to 4-0 with a sacrifice fly in the third inning.

Gorzelanny allowed four runs and six hits, walked one and struck out seven in six frames for the Pirates.








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

    BATTERIES: PIT - TOM GORZELANNY, DAMASO MARTE (7TH), SHAWN CHACON (8TH) AND
    RONNY PAULINO
    ATL - CHUCK JAMES, TYLER YATES (7TH), RAFAEL SORIANO
    (7TH), OSCAR VILLARREAL (8TH),

    Jul 14 11:13 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    FINAL SCORE: ATLANTA 5, PITTSBURGH 4

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 11:13 PM
  • 40
    roots
    RUWTbot Took away 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 11:13 PM
  • 65
    roots
    joestilwell Added 5 roots

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 11:01 PM
  • 60
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 60 roots (Close Finish)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 10:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN DOUMIT (7) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF RAFAEL SORIANO SCORED JOSE CASTILLO AND RONNY
    PAULINO.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 4, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: R DAVIS (.225, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 9:11 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY RONNY PAULINO SCORED JASON BAY.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R PAULINO ON SECOND, J CASTILLO ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 1
    ATLANTA 4 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR PITTSBURGH: J WILSON (.261, 0-FOR-2)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 8:56 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, A JONES ON FIRST, C JONES ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M DIAZ (.351, 0-FOR-1)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 7:53 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ANDRUW JONES (17) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT
    IN THE 1ST OFF TOM GORZELANNY SCORED EDGAR RENTERIA.
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0, ATLANTA 3
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.288, 10 HR, 58 RBI)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 7:19 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    WILD PITCH BY TOM GORZELANNY ALLOWED YUNEL ESCOBAR TO
    SCORE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, E RENTERIA ON FIRST, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: PITTSBURGH 0
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.332, 0-FOR-0)

    Pirates vs. BravesJul 14 7:15 PM