Braves
Nationals
8 - 5 Final/13
  for this game

Francoeur lifts Braves over Nationals in marathon game

Sep 15, 2007 - 6:45 AM By Tim Hipps PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - The Atlanta Braves' slim playoff chances received a boost thanks to Jeff Francoeur.

Francoeur delivered a two-run single in the 13th inning as the Braves edged the Washington Nationals, 8-5, on a rainy Friday night in the opener of a three-game series.

With the bases loaded, Francoeur sent an 0-1 offering from Jesus Colome (4-1) into right field to score Martin Prado and Chipper Jones and give Atlanta a 7-5 advantage. Mark Teixeira scored on Andruw Jones' sacrifice fly to cap the scoring.

"That's the worst best game I've ever had," said Francoeur, who was 0-for-5 before delivering the game-winner. "I was swinging at balls so far over my head tonight it was frustrating.

"I felt like I couldn't see and I couldn't get comfortable at all. I finally was able to kind of jam it over the first baseman's head."

Francoeur's game-winning hit came at 12:21 a.m. Saturday, just as the longest game - by time - in Nationals history hit the five-hour mark. The game was completed in 5:13.

Both clubs used 23 players and eight pitchers in the marathon contest, most of which was played in the rain. The Braves employed 12 players in the ninth spot of their batting order.

"Wow, what a night, eh?" Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Started late. It rained the whole game. And we end up winning in the 13th. That was the 13th, right? Francoeur finally got a hit to fall in there with somebody on. It was one of those crazy nights."

Jose Ascanio (1-1) recorded the win after pitching two perfect innings to close out the game.

Despite the win, the Braves (75-72) still remain 4 1/2 games behind the San Diego Padres (79-67) in the National League wild card race.

Chipper Jones' RBI double to the right-field corner in the ninth scored Pete Orr, who was running for Edgar Renteria, to pull the Braves into a 5-5 tie.

"He fell behind me 2-0 and I could tell Chief was struggling with his slider a little bit," Jones said. "With Tex hitting behind me, I knew that he was probably going to come see me, and I got a pitch I could get extended on. I had a fast guy on first base who motored around on a double and we got to soak in the rain for about four more innings.

"We've got to win every game, plain and simple. We're way too far out. We've got to gut out wins like we did tonight. We've got to play better."

And hopefully play in better conditions.

"From about the sixth or seventh inning on, it was unplayable," Jones said.

"It was wet as could be," Francoeur added. "That last inning when I stole I slid into second and my whole right foot was just drenched - my whole pants leg and everything. When we started the game, they pretty much told us that we were going to play in the rain all night. They were right on with that."

Jones had missed the Braves' past three games after straining his right oblique during batting practice on Monday. He went 2-for-4 with two walks and two RBI.

Renteria led off the inning with an infield single on a hot comebacker that ricocheted off the ankle of Nationals closer Chad Cordero, who allowed one run on two hits and two walks over one inning.

The Nationals loaded the bases in the ninth on a double by Ronnie Belliard - his fourth hit of the game - an intentional walk by pinch hitter Ryan Church and a walk by Austin Kearns. Braves righthander Rafael Soriano then struck out pinch-hitter Tony Batista and got Jesus Flores to fly out to center to end the threat.

Washington threatened again in the 11th but Flores' fly out stranded runners on second and third.

Ryan Zimmerman's 24th homer of the season, a two-run shot to right in the seventh inning, gave the Nationals a 5-3 lead. Belliard led off the seventh with an infield single before Zimmerman homered off Braves righthander Tyler Yates.

The Braves pulled it to 5-4 in the eighth inning when Andrew Jones hit a one-out double off the left field wall and later scored on Matt Diaz's bloop single to right.

The Braves left the bases loaded in the seventh when Teixeira was called out on strikes. A dumbfounded Teixeira was halfway to first base, thinking he had drawn a walk from Nationals righthander Chris Schroder, before realizing he had been rung up by home plate umpire Jim Wolf.

Following a 16-minute rain delay, the Braves struck quickly during a steady downpour in the first inning against Nationals starter Matt Chico.

Yunel Escobar and Edgar Renteria opened the game with back-to-back singles and Escobar scored on an RBI single by Chipper Jones. Teixeira followed with an RBI double that scored Renteria for a 2-0 lead. Andruw Jones capped the rally by scoring Chipper Jones on a sacrifice fly to center that gave the Braves a 3-0 lead.

Belliard hit his 10th homer of the season, a solo shot to center off Braves starter Chuck James in the first inning.

"A win like this can get you going again," Francoeur said. "If we can continue this, it would be nice to get a sweep and get out of here."








  • NL
    FINAL 13
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
    - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 1 0 0 2 0 0
    10 11 12 13 R H E
    -- -- -- -- - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 3 8 15 1
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0 5 12 0 (FINAL 13)

    BATTERIES: ATL

    Sep 15 12:34 AM
  • 163
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    RUWTbot Added 22 roots (Extra Innings)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 12:26 AM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SACRIFICE FLY BY ANDRUW JONES SCORED MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 8
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 13TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.273, 0-FOR-6)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 12:24 AM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED MARTIN PRADO AND CHIPPER
    JONES.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 13TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: A JONES (.221, 1-FOR-4, BB, SF, RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 15 12:20 AM
  • 141
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    senorpepr Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 11:59 PM
  • 136
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 21 roots (Extra Innings)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 11:58 PM
  • 115
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    RUWTbot Added 15 roots (Extra Innings)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 11:27 PM
  • 100
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    RUWTbot Added 40 roots (Extra Innings)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 10:57 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED PETE ORR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 5
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.325, 1-FOR-4, 2 RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 10:33 PM
  • 60
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    RUWTbot Added 25 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 10:33 PM
  • 35
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    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 10:22 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MATT DIAZ SCORED ANDRUW JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M DIAZ ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 4
    WASHINGTON 5 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: T YATES (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 10:11 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN (24) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 7TH OFF TYLER YATES SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, WASHINGTON 5
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.324, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 9:52 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY MATT CHICO SCORED WILY MO PENA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J MAXWELL ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    WASHINGTON 3 BOTTOM, 4TH
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.242, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 8:45 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY RYAN ZIMMERMAN SCORED RONNIE BELLIARD.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, R ZIMMERMAN ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    WASHINGTON 2 BOTTOM, 3RD
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: D YOUNG (.325, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 8:24 PM


  • NL
    AT WASHINGTON - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RONNIE BELLIARD (10) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 1
    OUT IN THE 1ST OFF CHUCK JAMES.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3, WASHINGTON 1
    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: R ZIMMERMAN (.267, 23 HR, 84 RBI)

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 7:42 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - CHUCK JAMES
    WAS - MATT CHICO

    DUE UP FOR WASHINGTON: F LOPEZ (.243, 9 HR, 48 RBI)
    R BELLIARD (.282, 9 HR, 45 RBI)
    R ZIMMERMAN (.267, 23 HR, 84 R

    Braves vs. NationalsSep 14 7:36 PM