Padres
Braves
3 - 5 Final
  for this game

Jones lifts Braves over Padres

May 7, 2008 - 5:53 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- Chipper Jones continues to knock them out of the park and rookie Jair Jurrjens continues to pitch well at Turner Field.

Jones smacked a two-run homer and Jurrjens scattered one run over six frames to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 5-3 win over the struggling San Diego Padres on Tuesday.

Mark Kotsay homered and drove in two runs and Gregor Blanco plated a run for the Braves, who have won four straight games.

A switch-hitting slugger, Jones is off to a monstrous 2008 campaign, batting a major league-best .426 with 10 homers and 29 RBIs.

Jones drilled on a 1-0 offering from San Diego starter Chris Young (2-3) the opposite way, 404 feet into the left-center field bleachers to give Atlanta a 4-1 lead in the third.

"They're all big," the 15-year veteran Jones said of the long ball. "When you get this far in your career, they're all big."

The Padres wanted no part of the Atlanta slugger thereafter, walking him in the fourth and seventh frames.

Fast starts are nothing new for Jones, who collected his 10th home run on May 1 last season. However, the slugger did not connect for his next blast until May 17 and entered the All-Star Break with just 15 homers.

This campaign seems different, though.

Jones, who finished second to Colorado's Matt Holliday in the race for the batting crown last season, is running away with the title thus far this year. He sports the best batting average in the league since the start of the 2006 campaign.

"My job is to come out here and hit, produce runs and get on base," Jones said. "I'm just doing my job. I feel like I got pretty lucky. But for the most part, I've been consistent and staying with my game plan. It's working."

"What can you say?" Braves manager Bobby Cox said after shaking his head when asked about his star third baseman's torrid start. "He's the best hitter in baseball right now."

Jurrjens (4-2) once again was impressive at home, allowing one run and seven hits, walking one and striking out eight in a six inning performance. The rookie righthander, who threw 69 of his 103 pitches for strikes, improved to 2-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three starts at Turner Field.

"He's been tremendous this year," Jones said. "Words can't describe how good he's been and solid and consistent. You expect a young kid after two or three starts to throw up four innings in a six-run gig. But he's been solid."

Things did not start out so well for the righthander, who struggled with his command of the fastball. Brian Giles, who finished 4-for-5, led off the game with a double. One out later, Adrian Gonzalez plated Giles with a double off the left field wall.

But the 22-year-old rookie made an adjustment and sailed through the next 5 1/3 frames, scattering four singles thereafter.

"I just kept doing what I wanted to do the whole game," Jurrjens said. "Just throw strikes and get ahead of pitchers. The first inning I missed two pitches. I came back."

It also helped that Atlanta quickly got back into it, touching up Young for two runs in the second on RBIs from Kotsay and Blanco. Kotsay capped Atlanta's scoring with a homer into the right field seats in the fourth to give Atlanta a 5-1 lead.

The 32-year-old Kotsay, who was acquired from Oakland in the offseason to replace Andruw Jones, has helped Braves fans get over losing their 10-time Gold Glove Award-winning center field. Kotsay, who is batting .308 - 150 points higher than Andruw Jones - also made a stellar defensive grab, robbing Tadahito Iguchi of an RBI double in the fifth.

"I knew he was going to hit for a higher average," said Chipper Jones of Kotsay, who batted a miserable .214 last season. "What I didn't expect is that we were going to be sitting here 30 games into the season and see him play awesome defense."

San Diego rallied for two runs off Will Ohman in the seventh. Blaine Boyer set down the side in order in the eighth.

The Padres threatened in the ninth. Pinch hitter Tony Clark led off the frame with a single off reliever Manny Acosta before being replaced on a fielder's choice by Giles. Iguchi followed with a single to chase Acosta.

But Royce Ring struck out Adrian Gonzalez after the slugger began the at-bat by smashing a towering foul ball down the right field line, and Jeff Bennett induced Kevin Kouzmanoff to fly out to record his first major league save.

"They did their job," Cox said. "Ring got a strikeout against one of the best hitters in the league, and Bennett got a pop out to center field."

Young scattered five runs and nine hits, walked two and struck out four in five frames for the Padres, who have dropped four of their last five games.

"We're not playing good baseball," Young said. "That's obvious. We have dug ourselves a good hole and have a lot to correct."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SAN DIEGO 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3 11 0
    ATLANTA 0 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 x 5 9 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SDG - CHRIS YOUNG, KEVIN CAMERON (6TH), GLENDON RUSCH (6TH) AND JOSH
    BARD
    ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, WILL OHMAN (7TH), BLAINE BOYER
    (8TH), MANNY ACOSTA (9TH), ROYCE RING

    May 6 9:54 PM
  • 5
    roots
    BIGDAWG Added 5 roots

    Padres 3, Braves 5  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 6 9:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY ADRIAN GONZALEZ SCORED TADAHITO IGUCHI.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, NONE ON, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 3
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: K KOUZMANOFF (.281, 1-FOR-2, HBP)

    Padres 3, Braves 5  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 6 9:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TRIPLE BY TADAHITO IGUCHI SCORED BRIAN GILES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, T IGUCHI ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 2
    ATLANTA 5 TOP, 7TH
    DUE UP FOR SAN DIEGO: A GONZALEZ (.302, 1-FOR-3, RBI)

    Padres 2, Braves 5  Top 7, 0 OutsMay 6 9:17 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK KOTSAY (3) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    4TH OFF CHRIS YOUNG.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, ATLANTA 5
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.333, 1-FOR-1, RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 5  Bot 4, 0 OutsMay 6 8:21 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY CHIPPER JONES (10) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
    IN THE 3RD OFF CHRIS YOUNG SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR.
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1, ATLANTA 4
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.264, 0-FOR-1)

    Padres 1, Braves 4  Bot 3, 0 OutsMay 6 8:04 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GREGOR BLANCO SCORED MARK KOTSAY.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, G BLANCO ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 2 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J JURRJENS (.091, 0 HR, 0 RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 2  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 6 7:47 PM


  • NL
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK KOTSAY SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M KOTSAY ON FIRST, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SAN DIEGO 1
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 2ND
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.319, 0 HR, 2 RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 1  Bot 2, 0 OutsMay 6 7:45 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SDG - CHRIS YOUNG
    ATL - JAIR JURRJENS

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: K JOHNSON (.267, 4 HR, 14 RBI)
    Y ESCOBAR (.314, 3 HR, 13 RBI)
    C JONES (.425, 9 HR, 27 RBI)

    Padres 1, Braves 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsMay 6 7:20 PM