Game Two: Braves 10 Yanks 5
NEW YORK — As the Braves experienced some maddening stretches over the past month, they missed Freddie Freeman’s presence in their lineup. Now that Freeman finally appears to be healthy again, he and Jason Heyward might be primed to prove why many consider them to be the game’s best young duo.
Freeman ignited a power barrage that featured Heyward’s latest multi-homer performance and propelled the Braves to a series victory with a 10-5 win at a hot, humid and hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium on Wednesday afternoon.
With the two teams combining for nine home runs, it was certainly not a comfortable setting for pitchers. Fortunately for the Braves, the power they generated against Phil Hughes proved more costly than the fact that Tommy Hanson allowed four home runs for the third time in his career.
Less than 24 hours after producing a game-winning single and making a game-saving throw, Heyward matched the two-homer performance he produced in a June 7 win at Miami. The 22-year-old right fielder hit a fourth-inning solo shot off Hughes and then gave the Braves some insurance runs courtesy of his two-run, eighth-inning shot off Boone Logan.
With Freeman, Heyward, Martin Prado and David Ross all going deep, the Braves totaled a season-high five home runs and won a second straight game for the first time since June 9. Their confidence should be boosted by this series victory over the Yankees, who had entered Tuesday with a 10-game winning streak.
After gaining a 6-1 lead with Ross’ fifth-inning solo homer, the Braves endured some seventh-inning stress. Chad Durbin walked two of the first three batters he faced in the inning and allowed the Yankees to cut their deficit to one run with Curtis Granderson’s RBI single. But after allowing a run for the first time since May 7, Durbin got Alex Rodriguez to ground into an inning-ending double play.
It did not take the Braves long to extend their lead back to four. Prado opened the eighth with a double and scored on Freeman’s sharp RBI groundout. Heyward then followed with his 10th home run of the season.
The Braves’ offense started rolling during a three-run first-inning that was fueled by the two-out RBI single that Dan Uggla laced to left field. Freeman followed with a two-run homer that sailed over the center-field wall. The 22-year-old first baseman has struggled while battling vision problems in May and a sore left index finger the past few weeks…..Read More
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Game One: Braves 4 Yanks 3
NEW YORK — The building blocks of the Yankees’ 10-game winning streak arrived mostly in the form of strong starting pitching, tidily sweeping the club’s season-long struggles with runners in scoring position into the background.
The issue loomed again as the Yankees’ run came to an end on Tuesday, silenced in big opportunities and seeing two runners cut down at home plate as they suffered a 4-3 Interleague defeat to the Braves at Yankee Stadium.
“When you win 10 in a row, you have breaks go your way,” said Mark Teixeira, who was gunned down trying to score by right fielder Jason Heyward in the fifth inning. “Today, none of the breaks went our way. We’ll just try to start another streak.”
Heyward’s sixth-inning rocket off of Teixeira’s left heel — which Teixeira said might have been the hardest-hit ball he’s ever had hit to him — accounted for the go-ahead knock, nudging the Braves ahead as New York suffered its first loss since June 7.
The ball painfully struck Teixeira and ricocheted to the center of the diamond as Brian McCann trotted home safely, an unwelcome sight for Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, who permitted four runs as he gritted through seven tough innings.
“This is a tough loss,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “We had some opportunities and we just weren’t able to come through. We’ve been playing well and we still played a pretty decent game tonight.”
The Yankees finished 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position and saw both Teixeira and Curtis Granderson thrown out trying to score, though Girardi said he had no issue with the aggressive plays.
Teixeira was cut down by a healthy margin on Nick Swisher’s fifth-inning single to right field off Braves starter Tim Hudson, as Heyward played shallow and uncorked a seed that arrived in plenty of time.
“I knew Swish hit it hard and I know Heyward’s got a really good arm, one of the best outfield arms in baseball,” Teixeira said. “We were just hoping in that situation that he made a poor throw, and he didn’t. He made a great throw.”
Granderson was tagged out at the plate trying to score in the seventh on a fielder’s-choice grounder to third baseman Chipper Jones. The Yankees managed one hit in the last four innings against four Atlanta relievers, including Craig Kimbrel, who pitched the ninth for his 20th save.
“Winning takes care of a lot of things,” said Russell Martin, who busted his bat grounding into a double play to end the eighth inning. “I’m not really concerned. Odds are, it’s probably going to turn around at some point.”
The Yankees were able to manage three runs — two earned — in five innings against Hudson, who walked five and struck out five.
“Hudson is tough. If you get a couple off him, that’s a good night,” Martin said. “He’s a ground-ball pitcher, so you’re going to hit ground balls. You just hope a couple ground balls get through. Today, we just couldn’t really get to him.”
The 10-game winning streak marked the longest in the Majors this season, as well as the 29th instance of a double-digit winning streak in franchise history. They fell one victory shy of tying their longest run of the last 50 years, having last compiled an 11-game winning streak from Aug. 31-Sept. 10, 1985…..Read More
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