for this game

McCann, Braves walk off to win over Mariners

Jun 22, 2008 - 3:48 AM By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- A former member of the Seattle Mariners helped the Atlanta Braves finally win a game when trailing after eight.

Greg Norton got revenge on his former teammates by driving in the tying run and Brian McCann smashed a game-winning single in the ninth to lead the Braves to a come-from-behind, 5-4, victory over the Mariners on Saturday.

Norton, who was batting .182 entering Saturday's tilt against Seattle, was instilled in the No. 3 hole in place of the injured Chipper Jones, who did not start after re-aggravating his strained right quadriceps muscle on Friday.

The 36-year-old Norton also started in left field in Atlanta's makeshift lineup and made an adventurous catch in the outfield, diving awkwardly after taking a bad route on a ball in the fourth inning. The catch drew some good-natured ribbing from his former teammates in the Mariners' bullpen, who tossed a handwritten ball to Norton the following frame.

But when given the opportunity with the bat in the ninth, Norton had the last laugh.

"I didn't even know it tied the game," Norton said of his game-tying base hit. "We obviously didn't start the game off as well as we wanted, but we battled. That's a big win for us."

Staked to a one-run lead, Seattle turned to Miguel Batista (3-9) to close out the contest. But Batista, who was installed as the Mariners' closer because J.J. Putz is on the disabled list with a right elbow injury and Brandon Morrow did not make the road trip due to back spasms, was ineffective from the start.

The righthander issued a free pass to Kelly Johnson to lead off the frame. Norton followed with a double to knot the contest at 4-4.

Seattle elected to issue an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira before Bautista hit Francoeur to load the bases. McCann followed with a broken-bat single over the head of drawn-in second baseman Jose Lopez to complete the comeback.

"I threw it inside to him," Batista said. "He's so strong. He hit it where I wanted to, but it was in the air. It was just over (Lopez's) head."

"My hit was just in the right spot," McCann admitted. "It was in the right place at the right time and found a hole."

Blaine Boyer (2-5) hurled a scoreless ninth to record the victory for Atlanta, which was 0-29 when trailing after eight prior to this one.

"We were due," McCann said. "We battled and Norton got the big hit tonight."

Without the potent bats of Jones and Yunel Escobar in the starting lineup, the Braves struggled through the first seven frames before they found their hometown magic in the eighth.

Ruben Gotay smacked a 421-foot homer into the Braves' bullpen in right-center field to cut the deficit to 4-2 before Gregor Blanco reached on a three-base throwing error by Betancourt to bring up the pinch-hitting Jones.

Arthur Rhodes relieved Green to face the major league's leading hitter, who promptly smashed a single to center to raise his average to .393 and plate Blanco to cut the lead to one.

"Chipper had a big hit," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He can swing. He just can't move."

Rhodes struck out Infante to temporarily thwart Atlanta's onslaught.

Until then, it had not been a good homestand for the bruised and battered Braves, who lost the left side of their infield to injuries to Jones and Escobar, who departed with a strained right hip flexor.

With neither player manning their customary defensive positions, things started out just plain ugly for the Braves.

Infante, who committed an error on the only groundball hit to him on Friday night, doubled his troubles in the first. The reserve utility player botched two grounders in the opening frame, which led to three unearned runs off Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens.

Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn pitched well, allowing one run and six hits while walking three and striking out a season-high eight in 5 2/3 frames, but was denied his first win since May 5.

Betancourt, who drove in three runs for the Mariners, extended the lead to 4-1 with an RBI single in the eighth.

Prior to the game, Atlanta recalled Brent Lillibridge from Class AAA Richmond and optioned lefthander Jeff Ridgway to the minors. Lillibridge saw action as a pinch runner.








  • ML
    FINAL
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
    - - - - - - - - - - - -
    SEATTLE 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 4 5 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 5 11 3 (FINAL)

    BATTERIES: SEA - JARROD WASHBURN, ROY CORCORAN (6TH), SEAN GREEN (7TH), ARTHUR
    RHODES (8TH), MIGUEL BATISTA (9TH) AND KENJI JOHJIMA
    ATL - JAIR JURRJENS, MANNY ACOSTA (7TH), BL

    Jun 21 10:21 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY BRIAN MCCANN SCORED GREG NORTON.
    FINAL SCORE: ATLANTA 5, SEATTLE 4

    Mariners 4, Braves 5  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 21 10:21 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    DOUBLE BY GREG NORTON SCORED KELLY JOHNSON.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, G NORTON ON SECOND, 0 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    ATLANTA 4 BOTTOM, 9TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: M TEIXEIRA (.264, 1-FOR-3, BB, RBI)

    Mariners 4, Braves 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 21 10:19 PM
  • 122
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 37 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 4, Braves 4  Bot 9, 0 OutsJun 21 10:19 PM
  • 85
    roots
    bigbelly Added 5 roots

    Mariners 4, Braves 3  Top 9, 0 OutsJun 21 10:09 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY CHIPPER JONES SCORED GREGOR BLANCO.
    SITUATION: 2 RUNS IN, C JONES ON FIRST, 2 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    ATLANTA 3 BOTTOM, 8TH
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.289, 3-FOR-4)

    Mariners 4, Braves 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 21 10:04 PM
  • 80
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 35 roots (Close Finish)

    Mariners 4, Braves 3  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 21 10:04 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SOLO HOME RUN BY RUBEN GOTAY (1) TO RIGHT WITH 2 OUT IN THE
    8TH OFF SEAN GREEN.
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4, ATLANTA 2
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: G BLANCO (.250, 0-FOR-2, BB)

    Mariners 4, Braves 2  Bot 8, 0 OutsJun 21 9:49 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY YUNIESKY BETANCOURT SCORED JEREMY REED.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, 1 LEFT ON, 3 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 4
    ATLANTA 1 END TOP, 8TH

    Mariners 4, Braves 1  Top 8, 0 OutsJun 21 9:43 PM
  • 45
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 45 roots

    Mariners 3, Braves 1  Bot 5, 0 OutsJun 21 8:37 PM


  • ML
    AT ATLANTA - SCORING UPDATE
    SINGLE BY MARK TEIXEIRA SCORED OMAR INFANTE.
    SITUATION: 1 RUN IN, M TEIXEIRA ON FIRST, K JOHNSON ON THIRD, 1 OUT
    CURRENT SCORE: SEATTLE 3
    ATLANTA 1 BOTTOM, 1ST
    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: J FRANCOEUR (.250, 8 HR, 41 RBI)

    Mariners 3, Braves 1  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 21 7:34 PM


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

    CURRENT PITCHERS: SEA - JARROD WASHBURN
    ATL - JAIR JURRJENS

    DUE UP FOR ATLANTA: O INFANTE (.267, 1 HR, 10 RBI)
    K JOHNSON (.281, 7 HR, 31 RBI)
    G NORTON (.182, 2 HR, 11 RBI

    Mariners 3, Braves 0  Bot 1, 0 OutsJun 21 7:26 PM