Things changed quickly there. A couple times. The Braves and Royals each scored a run in the first, and here I’m thinking we’re going to have another high-scoring game. But from there, things settled down, and only one more run was scored in the next seven innings, one run for the Royals in the fourth. They could have scored more, but Ken Harvey was thrown out at home trying to score from second on a single. I didn’t see the play (not being an alien) but I’ve seen Ken Harvey, so it’s not too surprising.
The Braves, however, couldn’t get anything across and it was 2-1 headed into the eighth. Furcal walked leading off, and the Royals pulled their starter Dennys Reyes even though he’d only thrown 92 pitches. Jason Grimsley came in and couldn’t do anything right. After a Green sacrifice, Andruw (hitting in the three spot, and clearly the hero of the day) singled home a run, his second RBI of the game. He made it to third on an error and a groundout, and scored on a wild pitch to give the Braves the lead, and after Smoltz threw a 1-2-3 ninth, the win.
Russ Ortiz was Russ Ortiz. He went seven, needing 121 pitches to do so, 65 of them strikes. He walked four, he struck out five, gave up seven hits (all singles) and two runs. Got a no-decision this time out, though. Reitsma got the win and earned it by facing the heart of the order (Sweeney, Harvey, Stairs) in the eighth and allowed only a single to the latter; Smoltz, as I said, finished it off.
In addition to Andruw in the three-spot (which looks good so far) Chipper was in fact at third base in this game. He played eight innings before Garcia ran for him (DeRosa had already pinch-hit) and stayed in to play third. He had two assists, apparently on the only two plays he had any part in. So far, so good. Ortiz — a righthanded flyball pitcher — was the perfect pitcher to break back into the position with. You wouldn’t want him playing there right off with Hampton or (if he ever gets back) Ramirez on the mound.
The Braves try to get back to .500 — again — tomorrow night. The game will be on SportsSouth so southern non-aliens can watch.