ESPN.com – MLB – Recap – Braves at Phillies
Turns out all the Braves’ offense needed to get healthy was a trip to Citizens Bank Bandbox. Atlanta got eight runs in 3 1/3 innings against Phillies starter Gavin Floyd and hit five home runs overall – two each by Rafael Furcal and Raul Mondesi (yes, Raul Mondesi) – to win big in the first game of a seven-day road trip.
The Braves got four in the first on just one hit, which is not that easy to do. Floyd walked the bases loaded with two outs, then threw a wild pitch to score Furcal. Floyd walked Adam LaRoche to reload the bases, then hung an 0-1 slider to Brian Jordan, who slapped the ball into the left-center gap for three runs.
Adam LaRoche added a two-run homer in the third (a huge shot off the facing of the middle deck in right) to make it 6-2. The Braves got two more in the fourth on a solo homer by Mondesi and a bloop double by Chipper Jones to chase Floyd.
Horacio Ramirez was far from dominant, but pitched well enough to deserve the win. He threw exactly 100 pitches in 5 1/3 innings, allowing three runs (all earned) on six hits, striking out one and walking four.
Every Atlanta position player either scored or drove in a run (although Andruw Jones went 0-for-5 with three Ks). Furcal had a great game even without the two homers – adding a single, a walk, two steals and two more runs scored to his pair of solo shots.
The Braves’ bullpen was not totally lights-out either, but got the job done. Jorge Sosa, Chris Reitsma and Adam Bernero combined to allow just one run over the final 3 2/3 innings.
Speaking of the bullpen, the Braves followed the advice of many a Braves Journal commenter and released Tom Martin today. They filled the roster spot with Ghost of Bullpens Past John Foster, who was putrid in a handful of outings with Atlanta in 2002. Since then, the 27-year-old lefty has pitched for Milwaukee and had arm surgery (hard to argue which of those two was worse).
The Marlins lost to the Mets Friday night, but the Nationals were off for some reason, meaning Atlanta and Washington are once again tied for first in the NL East at 6-4.
One other quick note. The win gave Bobby Cox 2,008 for his managerial career, which ties him with Leo Durocher for eighth on the all-time list. Durocher may be one of the few guys in history who had a testier relationship with umpires than Cox.
Day game tomorrow, 3:05 p.m. on TBS. John Smoltz vs. Jon Lieber on the mound.