on July 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)
Prado lifts Braves past Phillies in 10th
ATLANTA (AP) — Martin Prado’s 10th-inning single triggered a celebration on the field, and was only part of his terrific night.
Prado drove in the winning run to finish with a career-best four hits and four RBIs, helping the Atlanta Braves beat Philadelphia 5-4 on Tuesday for their first home win over the Phillies since 2007.
Prado won more than the game. He also earned at least a temporary promotion from his status as a utility player.
When asked if Prado was his starting second baseman, manager Bobby Cox said “Right now, yes.”
“He’s too hot to take out unless his groin flares up,” Cox said, referring to Prado’s nagging injury. “Yeah, we’ll keep him in there for a little while.”
Kelly Johnson, who had the full-time job after Omar Infante broke a bone in his hand in May, is hitting only .216. Prado is batting .299, including .354 (23 for 65) in June.
“Every time he’s in there he does something really good,” Cox said of Prado.
Despite his strong month, Prado said his season “had been very tough.”
“This is the first night I’ve felt comfortable at home plate in a long time,” he said, adding he has struggled to find his stroke as a part-time player.
“I wish I could have the same feeling every day,” he said. “But it’s hard for me because I play once in a while, maybe.”
Gregor Blanco had three hits and scored twice for Atlanta, which went 0-9 against the Phillies at Turner Field last year.
“The top of their order did us in,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, referring to Blanco and Prado. “They were on base (eight) times. They got some good hitting. They got us tonight.”
Matt Diaz started the winning rally with a one-out single off Chan Ho Park (3-2). He moved to third on Blanco’s single to left and Prado followed with a liner over left fielder John Mayberry Jr.
The NL East-leading Phillies have lost 10 of 13.
“We weren’t used to getting beat late last year,” Manuel said after the Phillies fell to 6-5 in extra-inning games.
Peter Moylan (2-2) recorded two outs to get the win. He was on the mound when third baseman Chipper Jones started a double play with a diving stop of Jayson Werth’s grounder in the 10th.
The Phillies took a 4-3 lead in the eighth when Mayberry and Pedro Feliz hit back-to-back homers off Mike Gonzalez.
Atlanta rallied in the bottom half. Blanco, a late addition to the lineup when Nate McLouth was held out with a sore hamstring, walked with two outs and moved to second on Ryan Madson’s wild pickoff throw.
Prado followed with a double into the right-field corner. Prado moved to third when Werth bobbled the ball for the Phillies’ third error, matching their season high.
Philadelphia shortstop Jimmy Rollins was 0 for 5 in his return after being held out four straight games. Rollins, who has a career .274 batting average, has no hits in his last 24 at-bats and is hitting only .207.
Braves fans mocked Rollins by chanting “2-0-8!” during his final at-bat.
Derek Lowe, who had lost three straight starts, gave up two runs and seven hits in six innings for Atlanta. He remained in the game after being hit on his backside by Shane Victorino’s liner in the fifth.
Lowe threw out Victorino before leaning over in pain. Cox and teammates surrounded Lowe near the mound, and Jones couldn’t hold back a laugh with Lowe’s bottom attracting so much attention. Lowe then surrendered Chase Utley’s homer to give the Phillies a 2-1 lead.
Joe Blanton gave up three runs and eight hits in five innings for Philadelphia.
After Prado’s homer in the bottom of the fifth tied it, the Braves loaded the bases on singles by Jones and Garret Anderson and a walk to Casey Kotchman. Jeff Francoeur’s groundout gave Atlanta a 3-2 lead.
Lowe struck out pinch-hitter Chris Coste to strand runners on second and third in the sixth.
The Braves have won five of seven against the Phillies this season. The first six games of the season series were played in Philadelphia.
NOTES: Braves SS Yunel Escobar (hip flexor) missed his fourth straight start. He grounded out as a pinch hitter in the ninth. … The Phillies placed LHP Antonio Bastardo on the 15-day disabled list with a strained shoulder and recalled LHP Sergio Escalona from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. … LHP J.A. Happ will start Thursday against the Braves. … Anderson had one hit on his 37th birthday.