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Chris Nelson's go-ahead three-run homer in the bottom of the seventh inning lifted the Colorado Rockies to a thrilling 11-10 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. With the win, the Rox picked up their second consecutive series victory, and their fifth in the past three weeks.
Nelson deposited a 1-1 slider from Brad Brach into the centerfield shrubbery, turning a 9-7 deficit into a 10-9 lead. It was Nelly's seventh round-tripper of the season, and the third for the Rockies on the day. Tyler Colvin took Casey Kelly deep in the third inning for his 17th of the year to give the Rockies a 5-3 lead, then Ramon Hernandez provided the tacos with a two-run shot - his fifth of the year - two batters later.
The Padres naturally fought back, mostly behind the efforts of Chase Headley, who went 4-for-5 with six runs batted in. After homering in the first and hitting an RBI single in the third, Headley smacked a two-run single in the fourth to get the Padres to within a run, then had another RBI knock in the sixth to give the Padres an 8-7 lead. Alexi Amarista, who went 5-for-5, had a couple of key late hits, including one off of Rafael Betancourt that cut the Rockies lead to one after they tacked on an eighth-inning insurance run. However, Betancourt got Chris Denorfia to ground out to end the game, and earned his 27th save in the process.
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These guys are nice. Keep it up:
Dexter Fowler -- 3-for-5, 2 RBI
Jordan Pacheco -- 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 R
Ramon Hernandez -- 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI
Matt Belisle -- IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 B, 2 K
These guys sucked, but will get 'em next time:
Jeff Francis -- 3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, HR
Adam Ottavino -- 2.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R
Josh Rutledge -- 0-for-4, 2 K, 4 LOB
These guys should get off of my team right now:
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Chipper Jones is some kind of amazing.
Hear Braves radio announcer Jim Powell declare "it is party time in Atlanta:"listen to ‘Chipper Jones HR 9/2/12 vs. PHI’ on Audioboo
The win capped off what was a miserable outing for Paul Maholm. With one on and one out in the first, Chase Utley hit a double that glanced off Freddie Freeman's glove. Ryan Howard doubled home both runners before Ty Wigginton walked and John Mayberry singled to load the bases. Friday's nemesis Erik Kratz then hit a bases-clearing double to right. The Phillies batted around in the first inning and plated five runs.
How did Atlanta do in the first inning? Michael Bourn singled and Chipper Jones reached on a throwing error but with one out, Freddie Freeman and David Ross both struck out swinging, continuing the team's futility with runners in scoring position. Although, Jason Heyward and Reed Johnson both doubled off Cole Hamels for Atlanta's first run in the second inning.
Maholm, though, was not long for the rest of the game. A leadoff walk in the third and a John Mayberry double meant the end of the day for Maholm, who gave up six hits. The day only got worse as Cristhian Martinez gave up a bases-loaded two-run double to Hamels later that inning, making the score 7-1.
In the sixth following a Freeman single and a Heyward double, Reed Johnson singled home both of them to cut the Phillies lead to four. Hamels struck out six in six innings of work.
Martinez and four other Atlanta relievers held the Phillies to just three hits the rest of the way, none after the fifth inning. Six of the nine Phillies hits were doubles.
The bottom of the ninth started with Jason Heyward flying out to center, but Reed Johnson followed with a single to left, his third hit of the game, against Jeremy Horst. Paul Janish then walked before Papelbon was summoned from the Phillies bullpen. He struck out the debuting Lyle Overbay, but then Michael Bourn coaxed a walk to load the bases. Martin Prado stepped in against the closer and with two strikes, lined a pitch off Kevin Frandsen for what was ruled a double to score two. Then it was Chipper Jones time.
On a 1-1 pitch, boom, home run, game over. The crowd goes nuts as the Braves score five in the ninth to avoid the sweep.
Peter Moylan picked up the win in relief.
The Orioles retlentless march toward the post season continued today with a 8-3 come-from-behind win in New York. The Orioles were down 3-1 at one point but went on to score seven unanswered runs off of eight Yankee pitchers, including starter Phil Hughes. Five of the Yankee pitchers were used in the top of the seventh inning where the Orioles were able to string together three hits and two walks, one with the bases loaded, scoring three runs and putting the game out of reach.
Mark Reynolds was truly the hero of the day smacking a pair of homers for the second time this series. Down 2-0 in the fifth Reynolds launched the a 2-2 pich from Hughes 437 feet into the left field seats. Then in the fifth, right after a Matt Wieters RBI single, with two on Reynolds took Hughes deep again into the left field seats for a three-run shot giving the Orioles a 5-3 lead and ending Hughes' day.
Luis Ayala, Brian Matusz and Darren O'Day pitched a very tidy last 2.2 innings to clench the series win, but the real hero was the Birds' newest acquisition Randy Wolf. Wolf came out in relief of Chris Tillman who was pulled after three innings. In his three innings Tillman had pitched well enough giving up two runs on two hits with two walks and two strike outs. In the second inning Tillman gave up a two-run homer to New York substitute center fielder Chris Dickerson, but was otherwise on point. After the third inning ended Tillman went straight back into the lockerroom and Wolf was warmed up quickly.
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Source: FanGraphs Game MVP: Chipper Jones, .895 Least Valuable Brave: Paul Maholm, 14 game score Most Valuable Phillie: Ryan Howard, .124 Least Valuable Phillie: Jonathan Papelbon, -.966 Big plays: 1st – (PHI) Ryan Howard two-run double for a 2-0 Phillies lead, .133 1st – (PHI) Erik Kratz three-run double for a 5-0 Phillies lead, .128 [...]
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ATLANTA (AP) — Chipper Jones hit a three-run homer off Jonathan Papelbon with two outs in the ninth inning, capping a five-run rally that sent the Atlanta Braves over the Philadelphia Phillies 8-7 on Sunday.
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Houston Astros Topics:
It sounds like Edgar Gonzalez is going to start tomorrow for the Astros. What do you think this says about Dallas Keuchel and are there any prospects you're looking forward to being called up in September?
Also three Astros affiliates in the playoffs
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That headline may be a stretch, but how else do you explain the home run binge the Reds have been on against the Astros this season? They hit, what, 15 home runs in 12 games? Jay Bruce hit six of his 29 homers this season against Astros pitching?
I guess that's why they have the best record in the National League and why the Astros have the worst.
Still, Houston was a hairs' breadth away from taking two out of three from the Reds and winning two-thirds as many games in September as they did in all of July. Or a quarter of the games that they've won since July 1. Or any other manner of statistic on how bad they have been the past two months.
But, they didn't win, because Xavier Cedeno threw a pitch Jay Bruce guessed on and hit to the moon. Then, things got worse and worse that inning for more relievers until the lead was gone and the inning was over.
Did it matter that Fernando Martinez got picked off at third base right before Tyler Greene hit that home run? Nahh. What about Brian Bogusevic getting thrown out trying to steal third? Probably wouldn't have stopped that collapse, either, huh?
That's the thing with bad teams. There are plenty of reasons why they lose games. In this instance, it was an ill-timed pitch to a good left-handed hitter and a few baserunning mistakes. That's all it took to erase a well-played game and turn a series win into a series loss.
Oh, well. On to other things in September. This month will just fly by, right?
Hero Of The Game: Justin Ruggiano (.047 WPA)
Goat Of The Game: Mark Buehrle (-.320 WPA)
After being shut down by Cy Young candidate R.A. Dickey on Friday night, and losing a ninth inning lead because of a Steve Cishek blown save on Saturday, Miami's offense had a hard time scoring against Mets starter Chris Young, as the Marlins fell to the Mets 5-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Mark Buehrle, trying to win his 13th game of the season, had trouble shutting down the Mets in the first inning, partly because of the Marlins' defense. Ronny Cedeno led off the inning with a double, and Justin Turner doubled on a ball that was misplayed by Giancarlo Stanton. David Wright hit a ground ball that allowed Cedeno to score, and three batters later, Jason Bay, who had four hits with runners in scoring position all season entering Sunday's game, hit a two-out opposite field grand slam off of Buehrle to give the Mets an early five run advantage.
Miami had a chance to get on the board in the bottom of the first, as they had runners on first and third with one out against Young. However, Giancarlo Stanton, hitting in the cleanup spot for the first time in several months, struck out and Carlos Lee hit a deep fly ball to end the inning.
Offensively, the Marlins were able to score their first run of the game off of Young, who Miami scored seven runs against in early August, in the fifth. Rob Brantly led off the inning with a walk, and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Buehrle. After Young got Bryan Petersen to fly out, Justin Ruggiano doubled down the left field line to make it a 5-1 game.
Though he allowed seven batters to reach base in the first inning, Buehrle eventually settled in and was able to complete seven innings. In his seven innings, Buehrle gave up six hits and five runs while walking a batter and striking out three. From the second inning to the seventh, Buehrle only allowed three Mets to reach base.
In addition to not allowing the Mets to increase their lead, Buehrle made a great defensive play in the seventh. With Andres Torres on second and one out, Zach Lutz hit a line drive that Buehrle caught after falling off of the mound, and then threw the ball to Jose Reyes, who beat Torres back to the bag by a step for a double play.
Ryan Webb and Carlos Zambrano each pitched a scoreless inning in relief, but the Marlins' offense was unable to rally against Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin, or Jon Rauch. The Marlins' struggles with runners in scoring position continued, as the Ruggiano double was the lone hit with a runner on second or third base in seven at-bats for Miami.
Frank Francisco shut the Marlins down in the ninth for the second consecutive day, as New York swept the three game series from the Marlins.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adrian Gonzalez doubled in the tying and winning runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, lifting the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday to gain a series split.
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