for this game

Teixeira, Braves hold off Dodgers

Apr 20, 2008 - 12:15 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves have been sticking to a tried-and-true recipe of timely hitting and solid hitting the past few days. Not surprisingly, they collected their third straight win.

Mark Teixeira drove in two runs to highlight a four-run fifth inning and Chuck James hurled five effective innings to lead the Braves to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field on Saturday.

Chad Billingsley (0-3) blanked the Braves for four frames before losing control of his pitches in the fifth.

The 23-year-old loaded the bases on walks to Chipper Jones and Kelly Johnson and a single to Yunel Escobar. Teixeira then plated two with a single to left field before Billingsley issued a free pass to Brian McCann to once again load the bases.

After Chipper Jones scored on a groundout to give Atlanta a 3-1 edge, Mark Kotsay plated Teixeira with a single. The slow-footed McCann, who also tried to score on the play, was gunned down easily at the plate on a strong throw by Matt Kemp.

"I knew we weren't going to score a lot of runs," Teixeira said. "For me to get that hit and get two runs and for us to tack on two more, I had a feeling we were going to win after that."

James (1-0) pitched five solid innings to notch his first win. The lefthander, who was recalled from Class AAA Richmond after Tom Glavine was placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career Friday, allowed one run and four hits while walking one and striking out two.

His outing was light years ahead of his first start against Colorado, where the lefthander struggled with his command, allowing six runs and five hits and hitting three batters on April 9.

"His control was much better," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Pitching in Colorado, the very first time, it was hard to hold the ball. He was a lot better."

James credited his success to an adjustment that he made while at Richmond, allowing him to get behind the ball and finish off his pitches.

"Just going down (to Richmond) in a stress-free environment and getting to work on stuff down there (helped)," James said. "I'm on the right track. It's a good feeling. It's been a long time since I've thrown and felt I could compete and have fun."

Jorge Campillo relieved James in the sixth and hurled two scoreless frames before Blaine Boyer worked around a hit in the eighth. Closer Manny Acosta, who is filling in for the injured Rafael Soriano, hurled a scoreless ninth to record his first career save.

"It was another great job by Chuck and our rotation," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "The bullpen has really been super, when they had to be super."

It was the third solid outing in a row for the injury-riddled Braves' pitching staff, which is playing without veteran starters Mike Hampton and Tom Glavine, Soriano and set-up man Peter Moylan.

Nevertheless, Atlanta's staff has been lights out over its last three contests, surrendering just two runs over its last 27 frames.

"Pitching is a catalyst to winning," Teixeira said. "For us to have these outings the last three days, you're going to win a lot of games like that."

The only blemish on James' night was a homer by former Braves center fielder Andruw Jones, who smashed his first with the Dodgers in familiar surroundings to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second.

"I saved him so many times last year," Jones said of James, who is a fly-ball pitcher. "At least one thing went good for me, and he gave me a homer."

"That would be one of balls that I cut," James said. "I was trying to overthrow it a little bit. I cut it. Up and in is a dangerous place for him, especially when you don't have a lot on it."

The 30-year-old struggling slugger smashed the 3-2 offering from James into the left-field bleachers. It was the 166th homer at Turner Field for the portly slugger, whose weight has been something of ridicule in the Los Angeles papers.

"It didn't matter where (the homer) came," said Jones, who nonetheless made himself at home by parking his car in the Braves' parking lot prior to the game instead of spots reserved for the visiting team. "I just wanted to get one homer. I just wanted to feel good at the plate and win."

Only former teammate Chipper Jones has more homers in Atlanta's home ballpark since it opened in 1997.

Billingsley allowed four runs and five hits, while walking five and matched a career high with nine strikeouts in five frames for the Dodgers, who fell to 0-9 when trailing after seven frames.








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

    BATTERIES: LOS - CHAD BILLINGSLEY, JOE BEIMEL (6TH), ESTEBAN LOAIZA (7TH) AND
    GARY BENNETT, RUSSELL MARTIN (7TH)
    ATL - CHUCK JAMES, JORGE CAMPILLO (6TH), BLAINE BOYER
    (8TH),

    Apr 19 6:36 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    ATLANTA 4 END BOTTOM, 5TH

    Dodgers 1, Braves 4  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 19 5:34 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, B MCCANN ON SECOND, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.254, 1-FOR-1, BB)

    Dodgers 1, Braves 3  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 19 5:33 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED KELLY JOHNSON AND YUNEL
    ESCOBAR.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, C JONES ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 5TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.288, 0-FOR-2)

    Dodgers 1, Braves 2  Bot 5, 0 OutsApr 19 5:29 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY ANDRUW JONES (1) TO LEFT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    2ND OFF CHUCK JAMES.
    CURRENT SCORE: LA DODGERS 1, ATLANTA 0
    DUE UP FOR LA DODGERS: G BENNETT (.000, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Dodgers 1, Braves 0  Top 2, 0 OutsApr 19 4:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    barleycorn Added 5 roots

    Dodgers vs. BravesApr 18 8:26 PM