for this game

Sanchez's game-winning hit propels Pirates past Braves

May 10, 2008 - 4:18 AM By Brad Everett PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- Freddy Sanchez seems to like the view at the top.

Sanchez knocked in three runs, including the game-winner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, to lift the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 3-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night.

With runners on the corners and the game tied at 2-2, Sanchez grounded a single up the middle off Atlanta reliever Jeff Bennett (0-2) to plate Brian Bixler with the game-winning run.

It was the fourth straight win for Pittsburgh, matching a season high.

A former National League batting champion, Sanchez continued to thrive atop the Pirates' batting order. After hitting second most of the season, the two-time All-Star is batting .529 (9-for-17) with five RBI in the top spot.

"I think we've all known Freddy is going to hit," Pirates manager John Russell said. "Maybe, it's a coincidence when you're batting leadoff you start hitting. He might have done the same thing in the two-hole, but I think a little change of scenery has made him a little more energetic."

Sanchez didn't necessarily agree with his manager, but he'll take all the hits he can get.

"To me, it doesn't matter where I hit," Sanchez said. "I just want to produce when I can. I've been working hard with (Pirates hitting coach) Don Long everyday and it's starting to pay off."

The loss by Atlanta ended its season-best six-game winning streak. The Braves own the best home record in the major leagues (14-4) but have the worst mark on the road (4-12).

"I'm not sure why we don't play like we do when we're at home," said Braves catcher Brian McCann, who finished 3-for-3. "We have to find something that's going to make us start winning these games."

After Pirates reliever Tyler Yates allowed a leadoff single and a walk in the ninth, John Grabow (2-1) came on to strike out Kelly Johnson and induce Yunel Escobar to ground into an inning-ending double play.

Sanchez, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, gave Pittsburgh a 2-1 lead in the seventh with a two-run double to right field off Braves starter Tom Glavine.

Atlanta knotted the contest in the eighth on an RBI single by Jeff Francoeur, who also plated the game's first run with a grounder in the sixth.

Glavine allowed two runs, five hits and four walks in seven innings for the Braves, who have dropped five in a row on the road.

"For the most part, I felt like the pitches I made were the pitches I wanted to make," Glavine said. "I really didn't feel like I missed in the wrong spot, but sometimes that's the way the game is."

Glavine did, however, pass Hall of Famers Bob Feller and Warren Spahn to move into 24th place on the all-time strikeout list.

"It's neat. For me to be in the company with those guys, especially for somebody who's not considered a strikeout pitcher, that kind of stuff is cool to hear," Glavine said.

Pirates starter Ian Snell yielded a run, two hits and six walks while striking out five in seven innings.

"It's not my best start by far, but it is a starting point from where I was at the beginning of the year," Snell said. "They killed me at their place, but back here we're starting to play good baseball. We're keeping it rolling, not backing down, and the end result is we're winning."






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    Braves 2, Pirates 3  FinalMay 9 10:51 PM


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

    BATTERIES: ATL - TOM GLAVINE, ROYCE RING (8TH), BLAINE BOYER (8TH), WILL OHMAN
    (9TH), JEFF BENNETT (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN, CORKY MILLER (8TH)
    PIT - IAN SNELL, DAMASO MARTE (8T

    May 9 10:00 PM


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    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED BRIAN BIXLER.
    FINAL SCORE: PITTSBURGH 3, ATLANTA 2

    Braves 2, Pirates 3  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 9 10:00 PM
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    Braves 2, Pirates 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsMay 9 9:54 PM
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    Braves 2, Pirates 2  Top 9, 0 OutsMay 9 9:28 PM


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    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED MARK TEIXEIRA.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, B MCCANN ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    PITTSBURGH 2 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.299, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 2, Pirates 2  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 9 9:16 PM
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    Braves 2, Pirates 2  Top 8, 0 OutsMay 9 9:16 PM


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    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY FREDDY SANCHEZ SCORED XAVIER NADY AND ADAM
    LAROCHE.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    PITTSBURGH 2 END BOTTOM, 7TH

    Braves 1, Pirates 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 9 9:04 PM
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    Braves 1, Pirates 2  Bot 7, 0 OutsMay 9 9:04 PM


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    AT PITTSBURGH - SCORING UPDATE
    FIELDER'S CHOICE BY JEFF FRANCOEUR SCORED CHIPPER JONES.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, J FRANCOEUR ON FIRST, M TEIXEIRA ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1
    PITTSBURGH 0 TOP, 6TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.302, 0-FOR-2)

    Braves 1, Pirates 0  Top 6, 0 OutsMay 9 8:32 PM
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    Braves vs. PiratesApr 2 4:19 AM