Monday, July 4, 2011
Posted: 10:30 p.m. Updated: July 5, 12:20 a.m.
The Associated Press
Braves 4, Rockies 1
Freeman certainly looked comfortable in the role.
Freeman's two-run shot in the first inning drove in Brian McCann, who singled with two outs off Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8). Freeman hit his 11th homer in the eighth off Matt Reynolds for his first career two-homer game.
"He's been great," Gonzalez said. "For a 21-year-old young man, he's been able to compete in the major leagues, get better and help us win ballgames."
Jimenez was facing the Braves for the first time since throwing a no-hitter at Turner Field on April 17, 2010. It was the first no-hitter in Rockies history.
Freeman hit fourth -- McCann's normal spot -- for only the sixth time. Freeman has four homers and 11 RBIs in his last 11 games.
"It's just one of those things," Freeman said. "I feel like I'm doing the same thing."
Jones had a cortisone shot in his sore right knee on Sunday and might return on Tuesday.
Freeman, a left-handed hitter, said he was trying to go up the middle against Jimenez because "you don't want to try to pull a 96 mph two-seamer."
Freeman hit the first-inning homer to left-center and then pulled his second homer of the game to right.
"He had an unbelievable day," Hanson said.
Hanson (10-4) gave up one run on four hits and one walk in seven innings. He had six strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 2.52. He ranks among the league leaders in wins and ERA but wasn't selected to the NL All-Star team on Sunday.
When asked if he was motivated to show he deserved to be an All-Star, Hanson said, "Not at all."
"I just want to go out there and execute the game plan and worry about our team," he said.
Said Freeman: "He's an All-Star in all our books."
LOS ANGELES -- Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy had RBI doubles in the sixth inning after the Mets were held hitless through five by Rubby De La Rosa, and New York went on to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2 on Monday night.
Chris Capuano (8-7) allowed six hits and two runs in six innings. The left-hander struck out five and walked two in winning his third decision in a row.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched the ninth to earn his 21st save in 24 chances.
Mets manager Terry Collins said he's willing to play with a 24-man roster for a few days while shortstop Jose Reyes recovers from a strained left hamstring rather than immediately placing Reyes on the disabled list, ensuring he would be out 15 days. Reyes plans to run before Tuesday's game and if he feels no pain, he may play, although the Mets might hold him out another day or two as a precaution.
De La Rosa (3-4) gave up five hits and three runs over seven innings in his sixth career start, struck out five and walked a season-low one while losing his fourth straight outing. One of his victories came in relief.
Ruben Tejada singled to open the sixth for the Mets' first hit. After Capuano sacrificed Tejada to second, he scored on Pagan's RBI double to right field. The Mets tied the game at 2 on Beltran's double to right with two outs.
Andre Ethier was 0 for 4 with a strikeout and didn't hit a ball out of the infield, while Kemp was 1 for 2 with two walks, one intentional, for the last-place Dodgers, who dropped their third in a row and fifth in their last six.
Nationals 5, Cubs 4 (10 Innings)
WASHINGTON -- This is the sort of return the Washington Nationals are expecting for their huge investment in Jayson Werth: the moxie to pull off a steal of third in the 10th inning at a time when his every mistake has been generating a round of boos.
Moments after he stunned the ballpark by swiping the bag, Werth was crossing home plate with arms raised, his teammates headed his way to celebrate. Werth had scored on a wild pitch, and the fans that had been so hard on him the last few days were cheering his daring in a 5-4, Fourth of July matinee win over the Chicago Cubs.
"Cheer me, boo me, whatever," Werth said. "I'm still going to go out there and play my game."
Werth's game was all over the place Monday. He was caught stealing second in the fourth. He struck out with two outs and the bases loaded when the score was tied in the seventh, the large holiday crowd deriding him during his walk back to the dugout. He had his first two-RBI game since May 31, but he knocked in one of those runs with a broken-bat single and the other with a groundout to first.
Yet he also threw a runner out at home from right field to stifle a Cubs rally in the sixth. And then there was that eventful 10th.
After drawing a leadoff walk off Marcos Mateo (1-2), Werth advanced on a sacrifice by pinch-hitting pitcher Livan Hernandez. Mateo left the game with an elbow injury and was replaced by Carlos Marmol. On Marmol's first pitch to Ivan Rodriguez, Werth strolled to a big lead and took off.
"There was no sign for that," Washington manager Davey Johnson said. "It was just his read -- and boom -- he's over there. That's a winning attitude."
Said Werth: "I just felt like it was time to make something happen. ... It's a funny game. You steal third and score the winning run. If he inside-moved me (for a pickoff attempt) right there, I'm probably the goat."
Marmol was given extra time to warm up when he unexpectedly got the call to come on for Mateo, who will return to Chicago to have an MRI, but the unusual circumstance made the Cubs closer ripe for the surprise from Werth.
"You have to change your routine. I never do that before, it's tough," Marmol said. "I was paying attention to the hitter. My mistake, I paid for it."
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