Braves beat Rangers at their own game
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox spent
four years managing in the American League, yet he doesn't remember
many games like this one.
height=90 align=right alt="Chan Ho Park">
Every Braves starter either drove in a run or scored by the
third inning as they sent Chan Ho Park to the shortest start of his
career, then held on for a 13-7 victory over the Texas Rangers on
Atlanta scored five in the first, four in the second and two in
the third, tying its season high for runs. The Braves then added
two more in the ninth, when they upped their hits to a season-best
''Whew!'' Cox said, shaking his head. ''I'd rather do things the
NL way, 3-1.''
Park, making his sixth start of the season after signing a $65
million, five-year contract last winter, gave up nine runs on eight
hits while getting only four outs. He lasted just 49 pitches on a
night when the Rangers, who've lost 10 of 14 and 16 of 22, were
hoping to rest their bullpen.
Park's ERA rose from 8.28 to 10.94. He also gave up his sixth
home run in 26 innings.
''I know he's better than this,'' Texas manager Jerry Narron
said. ''He couldn't throw the ball where he wanted. He left the
ball over the plate and he got hit. I can't put it any simpler than
About the only good news for Texas was Ivan Rodriguez returning
from the disabled list and going 4-for-4 with a walk, scoring twice
and driving in a run. Rodriguez, who was out with back problems,
doubled in his first two at-bats since April 14.
''I felt pretty good at the plate,'' he said.
Andruw Jones, Chipper Jones, Darren Bragg and Rafael Furcal all
had three hits for Atlanta. Chipper Jones and Bragg each scored
three runs, and Vinny Castilla drove in three.
Gary Sheffield, the designated hitter, was the only Braves
starter who didn't have a hit, but he drove in a run with a
Bragg, who played most of his career in the AL, felt right at
home in the high-scoring game.
''You just try to hit hard and hope for the balls to go through,
and tonight we found a lot of holes,'' he said. ''It's different
for any NL team to play AL-style ball. But you just go hard for
nine inning and hope you come out on top.''
Andruw Jones went 3-for-5 with a walk and drove in Atlanta's
first two runs with a double. Matt Franco hit the Braves' only home
run, his first of the season, and Furcal went 3-for-5 with two runs
Atlanta's pitching wasn't as productive. Starter Damian Moss was
given a huge lead but couldn't make it through the fifth inning for
the win. It took four relievers to preserve the Braves' fourth
straight victory and 10th in 12 games.
Moss was pulled after 4 2-3 innings when he gave up a two-out,
two-run single to Herbert Perry that made it 11-5. Reliever Kevin
Gryboski loaded the bases with a hit batter and a walk, then
allowed a two-run double to No. 9 hitter Michael Young.
''Sometimes it's hard to pitch with that type of lead,'' Cox
said. ''We tried to tell Mossy to imagine it's 1-0.''
Chris Hammond, who came on in the sixth with runners on second
and third and one out, was credited with the win -- his third in as
many appearances. Hammond (4-2) allowed two hits in 2 2-3 scoreless
''Now that it's over, I enjoyed pitching against people like
that,'' he said, smiling.
Texas slugger Juan Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two
RBI and a run scored. He has 10 hits in his last 15 at-bats.
Park (2-3) retired two of the first three batters, then fell
apart after Chipper Jones ended a long at-bat by fisting a single
just past the infield.
The next three batters all drove in runs on 2-0 pitches,
starting with Andruw Jones' double. Castilla was next with a single
that ended an 0-for-15 slump against Park, then Franco hit his
first homer since September 2000.
Keith Lockhart opened the second with a double, and Furcal beat
out a bunt for a single. Bragg doubled them both home with a drive
off the glove of left fielder Jason Romano.
Sheffield followed with a drive to the base of the wall in the
deepest part of center field that turned into the first out. Then
Chipper Jones doubled, and Park was done.
Park had allowed two runs or less in three of his last four
starts against Atlanta dating to 2000. He hadn't given up so many
runs since July 1999 against San Francisco. ... Rodriguez took the
roster spot of OF Rusty Greer, who went on the 15-day disabled list
with back problems. The move was retroactive to Tuesday. ... It was
Moss' second straight rocky start after allowing two runs or less
in seven straight.