for this game

McCann homers twice as Braves rout Phillies

Jul 26, 2008 - 4:26 AM By Vince DiGregorio PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- The Atlanta Braves used their battery to power their way to victory.

Brian McCann hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the ninth inning, and Jair Jurrjens pitched eight scoreless innings as the Braves cruised past the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-2, in the opener of a three-game series on Friday.

After leading off the fourth with his 19th blast of the season for a 1-0 lead, McCann launched a grand slam off Phillies closer Brad Lidge during a seven-run ninth. It capped the second multi-homer performance of the season for the All-Star catcher, who has hit five of Atlanta's last six grand slams.

"The first (home-run pitch) was a sinker up, and then the second one was a fastball in," McCann said. "I got my hands inside the ball and made good contact."

Lidge failed to retire a batter, allowing five runs, four hits and a walk before being removed.

"He has been dominant all year," McCann said of the All-Star closer. "It's just one of those things where the inning kind of snowballed. He'll be back out there tomorrow. He's one of the best closers in the game."

Jurrjens (10-5) gave up just three hits - all singles - and retired 24 of the 27 batters he faced. The righthander walked one and struck out six to help the Braves snap a seven-game skid against the Phillies and improve to 2-8 overall this season vs. their National League East Division rivals.

"I just tried to throw strikes," Jurrjens said. "I was trying to keep the ball down the whole game. I know this is a small stadium and the ball flies (out) here. I was trying to run my changeup down and get easy ground balls."

The eight-inning outing matched the longest of Jurrjens' career. He also tossed eight frames on June 27 at Toronto.

"J.J. came out and pitched phenomenal," McCann said. "Gave us a chance to win, threw a shutout for eight innings. We just needed one run tonight the way he was pitching."

Atlanta was clinging to a 1-0 lead before sending 12 batters to the plate in the ninth. It loaded the bases against Lidge, and Mark Teixeira doubled the advantage with an RBI single.

McCann then stepped to the plate and lined a 1-2 pitch into the right field seats for his fifth career slam. Kelly Johnson and Greg Norton each drove in a run later in the frame to complete the uprising.

"It was tight until the ninth," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "We had a great ninth inning against their best reliever. That's baseball. You never know."

The victory kept Atlanta (49-53) within 6 1/2 games of the first-place New York Mets (56-47) in the National League East Division. The Braves are in fourth place, with the Phillies (54-49) and Florida Marlins (54-49) also ahead of them.

"(Philadelphia) is a team we have to beat," McCann said. "We've got to beat these guys, the Marlins and the Mets. They're the teams that are ahead of us, and if we want to play in October, that's what we're gonna have to do."

Philadelphia wasted a fine outing from Kyle Kendrick (8-5), who surrendered just one run and seven hits in six frames. The righthander, who fell to 3-1 lifetime against Atlanta, walked two and hit a batter while recording two strikeouts.

"You've got to give credit to Jurrjens tonight," Kendrick said. "He threw a heck of a game. You just try to stay with him. I gave up one. If it's a close game like that, you try to keep your team in it."

After leaving the bases loaded in the second inning, the Braves grabbed a 1-0 lead in the fourth, when McCann deposited a 1-0 pitch over the center field wall.

Atlanta had two more opportunities to increase its lead, but Kendrick escaped trouble both times. Kendrick retired Mark Kotsay on a flyout with the bases loaded in the fifth before getting Gregor Blanco on a foulout with two on an inning later.

Shane Victorino tried to help the Phillies manufacture some offense with a pair of stolen bases but was stranded both times. Ryan Howard swatted a two-out, two-run homer - his 30th of the year - in the ninth to avoid a shutout for the Phillies, who have lost five of their last six.

"As a collective unit, we're not playing our best right now," Lidge said. "We're certainly capable of playing better. For whatever reason right now, we're just not getting it done. Some games we're not hitting, and some games we're not making pitches late."








  • NL
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    ATLANTA 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 7 8 14 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 5 0 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, WILL OHMAN (9TH) AND BRIAN MCCANN
    PHI - KYLE KENDRICK, J.C. ROMERO (7TH), CHAD DURBIN
    (8TH), BRAD LIDGE (9TH), CLAY CONDREY (9TH) AND CARLOS RU

    Jul 25 9:57 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY RYAN HOWARD (30) TO LEFT CENTER WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 9TH OFF WILL OHMAN SCORED CHASE UTLEY.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 8, PHILADELPHIA 2
    DUE UP FOR PHILADELPHIA: P BURRELL (.278, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 8, Phillies 2  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:57 PM
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    RUWTbot Took away 35 roots

    Braves 8, Phillies 0  Bot 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:48 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    GROUND OUT BY GREG NORTON SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 7 RUNS IN, O INFANTE ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 8
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.269, 2-FOR-5)

    Braves 8, Phillies 0  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:45 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY KELLY JOHNSON SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 6 RUNS IN, K JOHNSON ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 7
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.280, 1-FOR-4)

    Braves 7, Phillies 0  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:42 PM
  • EasternPA -62 roots lol

    Braves 6, Phillies 0  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:39 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    GRAND SLAM BY BRIAN MCCANN (20) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN THE
    9TH OFF BRAD LIDGE SCORED GREGOR BLANCO, YUNEL ESCOBAR AND MARK
    TEIXEIRA.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.281, 1-FOR-4)

    Braves 6, Phillies 0  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:37 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED GREG NORTON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, Y ESCOBAR ON SECOND, G
    BLANCO ON THIRD, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0 TOP, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: B MCCANN (.300, 1-FOR-2, 2 BB, HR, RBI)

    Braves 2, Phillies 0  Top 9, 0 OutsJul 25 9:35 PM
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    Braves 1, Phillies 0  Bot 7, 0 OutsJul 25 9:03 PM
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    Braves 1, Phillies 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsJul 25 8:20 PM
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    Cinemo Added 5 roots

    Braves 1, Phillies 0  Top 5, 0 OutsJul 25 8:08 PM


  • NL
    AT PHILADELPHIA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY BRIAN MCCANN (19) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT IN
    THE 4TH OFF KYLE KENDRICK.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 1, PHILADELPHIA 0
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M KOTSAY (.284, 1-FOR-1)

    Braves 1, Phillies 0  Top 4, 0 OutsJul 25 7:54 PM
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    CusCus Added 5 roots

    Braves vs. PhilliesJul 25 8:48 AM