Braves Digest: 4/17

<U><B>Braves 4, Marlins 1</B></U>: Chipper Jones hit a two-run homer and Russ Ortiz pitched 6 2/3 solid innings, as Atlanta defeated Florida, 4-1, in the middle contest of a three-game set at Turner Field. <BR> <BR> <B><U>Minor League Quicks:</B></U> Russ Branyan slams in Richmond loss; Zach Miner roughed up by Chattanooga; Gregor Blanco grounds out to Myrtle Beach win; Matt Esquivel homers in Rome loss.


Braves Win Second In A Row Over Marlins

The Atlanta Braves roughed up World Series MVP Josh Beckett for four runs in 6.1 innings to beat the Florida Marlins 4-1 Saturday night at Turner Field.

Chipper Jones got the Braves on the board first with a two-run home run in the first inning. The Marlins would score a run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch by Kevin Gryboski to make it 2-1. The run was charged to Russ Ortiz. Then Atlanta bounced back with two in the bottom of the seventh, one on a solo home run by Jesse Garcia. Then Marcus Giles extended his hitting streak to eleven games with a RBI single scoring DeWayne Wise.

Chris Reitsma pitched a perfect eighth and John Smoltz pitched a perfect ninth inning to get his third save of the season. Russ Ortiz had his sharpest outing of the season, going 6.2 and allowing the only run on six hits. Ortiz did not walk a batter and struck out seven. He lowered his ERA to 4.50.

The Braves go for the sweep Sunday afternoon with Mike Hampton on the mound against Brad Penny.


Indians Get By Braves 8-7

The Richmond Braves lost their third game in a row Saturday falling to the Indianapolis Indians 8-7.

The Indians broke out to a 5-0 lead after three innings and then the Braves slowly crept back into the ballgame. Richmond scored one in the fourth and then five in the fifth inning, four runs coming on a grand slam by Russ Branyan. It was the first home run of the season by a Richmond Braves player.

Richmond led 7-5 in the 8th inning when the Indians scored three runs off of reliever Mike Romano to take the lead. Corey Hart hit his third home run of the season to get the 8th inning started for Indianapolis.

Chuck Smith started for Richmond and went four innings. He allowed five runs on seven hits, two walks, and two strikeouts.

Pete Orr continued his hot hitting going 3 for 4 Saturday to raise his batting average to .409. Lee Evans also went 3 for 4 and is now hitting .308.

Richmond closes out the series with Indianapolis Sunday with Ray Aguilar on the hill.


G-Braves Blown Out By Chattanooga

The Greenville Braves lost to the Chattanooga Lookouts 10-3 Saturday night at Municipal Stadium to fall to 1-8 on the season.

Chattanooga scored two runs in the third and six runs in the fourth to take a commanding lead over Greenville. The Lookouts roughed up G-Braves starter Zach Miner (0-3) for five runs.

Greenville outfielder Adam Stern saw his seven game hitting streak come to an end.

The two teams will play again Sunday at 2:15 with Macay McBride going for Greenville.


Ninth Inning Rally Gives Pelicans Victory Over Potomac

The Myrtle Beach Pelicans scored two runs in the ninth inning to defeat the Potomac Cannons 6-5 Saturday night at Coastal Federal Field.

With the bases loaded and one out in the ninth, Gregor Blanco grounded a ball to first base. Cannons first baseman Tony Blanco simply stepped on first base for the out, but Jeff Francoeur scored from third to give the Pelicans the win.

Francoeur had tied the game at five earlier in the ninth inning on a double scoring Wes Timmons. Then the Cannons intentionally walked Scott Thorman and then hit Brian McCann to load the bases setting the stage for Blanco.

Myrtle Beach had been one strike away from winning the game 4-2 in the top of the ninth inning, but Tony Blanco hit a three run home run off of Manny Acosta to give Potomac a 5-4 lead. It was the second home run of the night for Blanco, who had a solo shot in the sixth inning off of Ryan Basner.

Matt Merricks started the game for Myrtle Beach and went five scoreless innings. Merricks allowed only four hits and struck out six. Basner then gave up two runs in two innings. Manny Acosta got the win in relief (1-0) despite giving up the home run to Blanco in the ninth.

Wes Timmons continued his hot hitting getting another base hit. Jeff Francoeur was 1 for 4 with 2 rbi (sac fly for other rbi) and Brian McCann had a RBI double.

Myrtle Beach (5-4) will close out the series with Potomac Sunday afternoon at 6:05 with Kyle Davies on the mound for the Pelicans.


Rome Loses Game, First Place To Capital City

The Rome Braves slipped out of first place Saturday night losing 7-2 to the Capital City Bombers in Columbia, South Carolina.

For the second straight night Rome struggled defensively making five errors in the game. Jake Stevens started and pitched well for Rome going 4.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Steve Russell was roughed up in relief going 3.1 innings and allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits, four walks, and one strikeout.

Matt Esquivel continued his solid offense for Rome getting a solo home run.

With the win, Capital City takes over first place from Rome. The Braves are now 6-3 on the season. Gonzalo Lopez is scheduled to go for Rome Sunday in the series finale.

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