for this game

Morton pitches Braves past Diamondbacks

Aug 8, 2008 - 6:00 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Rookie Charlie Morton pitched seven scoreless innings Thursday night to lead the Atlanta Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Mark Kotsay registered his fifth home run, Yunel Escobar had two RBI and Gregor Blanco added a pair of hits and scored two runs for the Braves, who won for just the fourth time in their last 12 games.

Morton (3-5) allowed five hits and one walk while striking out four to snap a personal three-game losing streak. The 24-year-old righthander had allowed 14 runs in his previous 16 1/3 frames, including eight in just 3 2/3 on July 28 - his first start after being recalled from the minors.

"I looked at it as a bad outing," Morton said of the July 28 start. "Luckily, I got another shot to pitch and pitched all right, then pitched good tonight. I know I am capable of pitching well, but at the same time I am capable of pitching really badly and it can change in a heartbeat.

"My fastball feels a little bit better, especially my four-seem fastball. My arm feels better and I got away with some pitches tonight. But for the most part, I feel I threw pretty well."

Morton outdueled Yusmeiro Petit, who is the most recent pitcher to fill the fifth spot in the rotation for the Diamondbacks, as Max Scherzer, Micah Owings and Edgar Gonzalez have all spent time in the role. Petit (1-3) surrendered only two runs and four hits, striking out six in five innings, in his most recent turn as a starter.

"I felt pretty comfortable and felt that every pitch I threw was a quality pitch," Petit said through an interpreter. "Unfortunately, I gave up a couple of bloopers in the first inning and that was the story. I gave up a couple of runs and lost the game. The home run was a good selection pitch, I just left it up and he made a good adjustment. It wasn't that bad of a pitch."

After forging a 2-0 lead on a first-inning sacrifice fly by Casey Kotchman and Kotsay's solo homer in the fifth, Atlanta sealed the win with four runs in the eighth inning.

"This club has not necessarily struggled offensively, it has just been a combination of injuries. And when we had good pitching, we didn't have good hitting, and when we had good hitting, we didn't have good pitching," Kotsay said. "That is part of the game and part of the process this club has gone through all season."

Jeff Francoeur singled with one out and advanced to third on two wild pitches by reliever Tony Pena. After a walk by Greg Norton, who pinch-hit for Morton, Blanco started the rally with an RBI double to right field.

Escobar followed with a two-run double and Brian McCann capped the frame with an RBI single to center as Pena surrendered four runs and four hits while retiring just two batters.

"We came through with a lot of clutch hitting," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "We didn't leave many runners on tonight. Once we got them on, we seemed to get them in. Blanco had a huge hit, Escobar was huge and Kotsay's home run wasn't too shabby either."

The Diamondbacks countered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the frame as Chad Tracy had an RBI single before Mark Reynolds launched a three-run homer to right field - his 24th blast - pulling Arizona within two.

"I felt like our at-bats were better than (on Wednesday) early on," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "We had some line drives throughout the game and we broke out of it with the big inning but couldn't follow through."

But closer Mike Gonzalez preserved the win by recording the final four outs en route to his fifth save of the season.








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

    BATTERIES: ATL - CHARLIE MORTON, BLAINE BOYER (8TH), MIKE GONZALEZ (8TH) AND
    BRIAN MCCANN
    ARI - YUSMEIRO PETIT, LEO ROSALES (6TH), TONY PENA
    (8TH), CHAD QUALLS (8TH), JUAN CR

    Aug 8 12:28 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    THREE-RUN HOME RUN BY MARK REYNOLDS (24) TO RIGHT WITH 2
    OUT IN THE 8TH OFF BLAINE BOYER SCORED CONOR JACKSON AND CHAD
    TRACY.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6, ARIZONA 4
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: A ROMERO (.248, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 6, Diamondbacks 4  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 8 12:10 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHAD TRACY SCORED STEPHEN DREW.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, C TRACY ON FIRST, C JACKSON ON SECOND, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    ARIZONA 1 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: M REYNOLDS (.245, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Braves 6, Diamondbacks 1  Bot 8, 0 OutsAug 8 12:06 AM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED YUNEL ESCOBAR.
    SITUATION: 4 RUNS IN, B MCCANN ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 6
    ARIZONA 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.295, 0-FOR-3)

    Braves 6, Diamondbacks 0  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 7 11:50 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY YUNEL ESCOBAR SCORED GREG NORTON AND GREGOR
    BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 3 RUNS IN, Y ESCOBAR ON SECOND, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 5
    ARIZONA 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: C KOTCHMAN (.156, 0-FOR-2, SF, RBI)

    Braves 5, Diamondbacks 0  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 7 11:45 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GREGOR BLANCO SCORED JEFF FRANCOEUR.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G BLANCO ON SECOND, G NORTON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 3
    ARIZONA 0 TOP, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: Y ESCOBAR (.276, 1-FOR-3)

    Braves 3, Diamondbacks 0  Top 8, 0 OutsAug 7 11:43 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots

    Braves 2, Diamondbacks 0  Bot 5, 0 OutsAug 7 10:57 PM


  • NL
    AT ARIZONA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY MARK KOTSAY (5) TO RIGHT WITH 1 OUT IN THE
    5TH OFF YUSMEIRO PETIT.
    CURRENT SCORE: ATLANTA 2, ARIZONA 0
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.230, 0-FOR-1)

    Braves 2, Diamondbacks 0  Top 5, 0 OutsAug 7 10:50 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: ATL - CHARLIE MORTON
    ARI - YUSMEIRO PETIT

    DUE UP FOR ARIZONA: S DREW (.278, 13 HR, 47 RBI)
    O HUDSON (.305, 8 HR, 40 RBI)
    C JACKSON (.313, 12 HR, 59 RBI

    Braves 1, Diamondbacks 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsAug 7 9:53 PM