for this game

Teixeira, Smoltz help Braves avoid sweep

Aug 19, 2007 - 9:21 PM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) - The trade for Mark Teixeira continues to pay dividends for the Atlanta Braves.

Teixeira smashed two homers and John Smoltz hurled eight dominant frames to lead the Braves to a 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.

The 27-year old Teixeira, who was acquired in a trade deadline deal with the Texas Rangers, was brought in to inject power into an Atlanta first base position that was last in the National League in batting average. Since joining the club on July 31, the switch-hitting slugger has done just that, slugging five homers and driving in 15 runs in over his first 16 games entering Sunday's contest against Arizona.

Teixeira continued to produce in this one.

The former Georgia Tech standout deposited a 1-1 offering from Diamondbacks starter Yusmeiro Petit (2-4) in the first inning an estimated 406 feet into the right-center field bleachers to give Atlanta a 2-1 lead.

Two frames later, Teixeira blasted a two-run shot over the right field fence for his first multi-homer game as a Brave, second of the season and 17th of his career.

"I wasn't brought in here to sell tickets and for people to watch the games on television," Teixeira said. "I was brought in here to help the team win. If I can help the rest of the lineup get better and produce myself, that's what I'm here for."

The long balls were the 19th and 20th of the season for Teixeira, who has hit 20 or more homers in his first five seasons in the majors.

"(Teixeira) has been huge," Braves third baseman Chipper Jones said. "He was the difference in the game today. The guy (Petit) made a couple of mistakes in his first two at-bats. That's what good hitters do. Hopefully, we can keep him rolling."

Teixiera's big day helped the Braves (65-59) avoid being swept by the Diamondbacks for the second straight year at Turner Field. They remained 5 1/2 games behind the New York Mets (70-53) in the National League East Division.

Meanwhile, the Braves continued to get what they have almost always gotten from their ace Smoltz (11-6) - another impressive performance.

The 40-year old righthander allowed two runs and five hits, walked three and struck out 12 to win for only the second time since June 27. Smoltz hurled 80 of his 118 pitches for strikes en route to recording his 42nd game in which he has struck out 10 or more batters.

"It was vintage Smoltz today," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He was really on top of his game ... a lot of strikeouts. It was a great performance from him today."

Despite his high pitch count, Smoltz wanted the ball in the ninth inning before Cox quickly nixed that idea.

"I tried (to convince Cox let me complete the game)," Smoltz said. "We have always talked about the danger pitches, around 115 pitches. I just wanted to (pitch the ninth) because I was feeling so good. I can tell you somewhere down there road there's going to be a complete game."

The 12 strikeouts for Smoltz were the most since April 10, 2005, when the righthander tied a career high by striking out 15 against the New York Mets.

"He did a great job," Arizona center fielder Chris Young said. "That's the reason he's going to be in the Hall of Fame. He controls the ball well. He had all his pitches working today."

The future Hall of Famer added another milestone to his already impressive resume, punching out Mark Reynolds in the third to record his 2,913th strikeout passing knuckleballing Hall of Famer Phil Niekro's franchise mark.

"Just for the name's sake, Niekro, Knucksie, he's just an icon here," said Smoltz, who met Niekro shortly after he was traded to the Braves for Doyle Alexander in 1987. "It's an honor."

"It's a great accomplishment," added Jones, who has played behind Smoltz since the 1993 campaign. "Knucksie is one of the icons of this organization. For John to pass him, I know he's probably pretty juiced up about it. It's just a cool achievement in a very long career."

Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the first on Orlando Hudson's RBI double before Teixeira's blast gave Atlanta a 2-1 lead. But the Diamondbacks fought back to tie the game thanks to the speed of Young.

Young lead off the third with a double, advanced to second on a groundout and scored when he swiped home plate on a delayed steal.

Yunel Escobar homered and Kelly Johnson added an RBI double in the fourth to chase Petit.

Petit, who was recalled from Class AAA Tucson prior to the game, allowed six runs and seven hits, walked two and struck out three in 3 2/3 frames.

Bob Wickman pitched out a bases-loaded jam in the ninth for Atlanta, which snapped a three-game losing streak.






  • 10
    roots
    jrod0225 Added 5 roots

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 7:17 PM


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

    BATTERIES: ARI - YUSMEIRO PETIT, JUAN CRUZ (4TH), EDGAR GONZALEZ (6TH), DOUG
    SLATEN (7TH), TONY PENA (8TH) AND MIGUEL MONTERO
    ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ, BOB WICKMAN (9TH) AND BRIAN MC

    Aug 19 3:58 PM
  • m4ck33 Smoltz has 8 K's thru 5

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 2:36 PM
  • 5
    roots
    m4ck33 Added 5 roots

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 2:35 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED WILLIE HARRIS.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    ATLANTA 6 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C JONES (.332, 0-FOR-2)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 2:26 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY YUNEL ESCOBAR (2) TO LEFT WITH 1 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF YUSMEIRO PETIT.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2, ATLANTA 5
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J SMOLTZ (.108, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 2:19 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (7) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF YUSMEIRO PETIT SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.269, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 2:01 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    CHRIS YOUNG STOLE HOME.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, O HUDSON ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 2
    ATLANTA 2 TOP, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.279, 0-FOR-1)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 1:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK TEIXEIRA (6) TO RIGHT CENTER WITH
    2 OUT IN THE 1ST OFF YUSMEIRO PETIT SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    CURRENT SCORE: ARIZONA 1, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.270, 12 HR, 67 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 1:19 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ARI - YUSMEIRO PETIT
    ATL - JOHN SMOLTZ

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: W HARRIS (.316, 1 HR, 25 RBI)
    K JOHNSON (.288, 13 HR, 60 RBI)
    C JONES (.334, 20 HR, 68 RBI)

    Diamondbacks vs. BravesAug 19 1:13 PM