Braves fight back to beat Nationals

‘STOLE ONE TONIGHT’::Martin Prado hit a Grand Slam in the seventh, then scored the winning run in the 10th as the Braves rallied from a 5-1 deficit to win 6-5

Reuters and AP, ATLANTA, GEORGIA

Sat, May 14, 2011 - Page 19

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Brian McCann hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning as Atlanta rallied to beat the Washington Nationals 6-5 on Thursday.

The Braves (21-18), who lost in extra innings to the Nats on Wednesday, fought back from a 5-1 deficit in the seventh inning to win the game and avoid being swept in the three-game series.

“We pretty much got our [tails] kicked for the better part of three games,” Atlanta’s Chipper Jones told reporters after hitting a solo home run in the third inning. “We stole one tonight.”

Atlanta’s Martin Prado delivered the game-tying Grand Slam home run in the seventh, then drew a lead-off walk and scored the winning run from second on McCann’s hit in extra innings.

Danny Espinosa and Ivan Rodriguez slugged home runs as Washington (18-19) grabbed a 5-1 lead, but they could not hold the advantage.

Nationals starter Jordan Zimmermann struck out 11 batters in 6-1/3 innings, but was charged with three runs. He left the game with two men on base and was relieved by Sean Burnett, who allowed the game-tying homer.

Doug Slaten tossed the final 2-1/3 innings and took the loss in the 10th.

Craig Kimbrel worked the 10th for Atlanta and picked up the win as the home team used four relievers in the final four innings to hold Washington hit-less.

CARDINALS 9, CUBS 1

In Chicago, unbeaten Jaime Garcia pitched seven effective innings to guide St Louis to a comfortable win over Chicago.

Garcia (5-0), who carried a perfect game into the eighth in his previous start, allowed just one run. He complemented that by hitting a key RBI single.

St Louis finished with 16 hits and took two of three in the series without manager Tony La Russa, who is recovering from shingles.

Matt Holliday led off a five-run second inning with a homer off Casey Coleman (1-3) that cleared the bleachers in left field. Colby Rasmus singled, Yadier Molina doubled and an intentional walk to bring up the pitcher loaded the bases. But Garcia foiled that strategy with an RBI single, Jon Jay followed with a two-run double and Allen Craig hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

METS 9, ROCKIES 5

In Denver, Colorado, Carlos Beltran hit a career-high three homers and drove in six runs to help New York defeat Colorado.

In a game delayed more than two hours by rain, Beltran homered from both sides of the plate and reached all parts of the ballpark with his three two-run homers: center in the first, left in the seventh and over right field in the ninth.

He became the eighth Mets player to hit three in a game and the first since 2006.

Colorado fell out of at least a tie for the lead in the West for the first time in five weeks. The Rockies have now dropped six of their past seven.

GIANTS 3, DIAMONDBACKS 2

In San Francisco, Nate Schierholtz had three hits to help San Francisco beat Arizona and complete a perfect home stand.

Eli Whiteside doubled twice to help the Giants go 6-0 at home, sweeping Colorado then Arizona to extend their season-high winning streak to six games.

Arizona, who have lost four straight, scored twice in the eighth and had the tying run at third base with one out in the ninth, before Javier Lopez got the final two outs for his first save in nearly five years.

In the NL’s other action, it was:

‧ Dodgers vs Pirates, rained out

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AP, CLEVELAND, OHIO

Tampa Bay’s irresistible road form proved too much for Cleveland’s impressive home record as the Rays beat the Indians 7-4 in Thursday’s clash of American League divisional leaders.

Tampa Bay have won 10 of 11 on the road and own the majors’ best mark away from home at 13-5. Cleveland lost for just the second time in 16 home games.

Rays starter James Shields (4-1) gave up two runs in seven innings. Cleveland had been the only AL team he hadn’t beaten, previously holding an 0-4 record against the Indians.

Royals 11, Yankees 5

In New York, the hosts lost their first home series of the season, beaten by Kansas City.

Eric Hosmer and Melky Cabrera homered for the Royals, who had a season-high 16 hits. Ten of them came off Ivan Nova (3-3) who lasted only three innings in the shortest start of his career.

New York dropped out of the AL East lead for the first time in a month as they prepare for a home series against archrivals Boston.

ORIOLES 2, MARINERS 1, 12 INNINGS

In Baltimore, J.J. Hardy singled in two runs in the 12th inning as Baltimore edged Seattle for a three-game sweep.

After Seattle scored in the top half of the 12th, the Orioles bounced back in the bottom half against Brandon League (0-3). Derrek Lee hit a leadoff single, and League hit two batters with pitches to load the bases with no outs. After one out, Hardy followed with a bouncer up the middle that scored Lee and pinch-runner Jake Fox as Baltimore recorded their second extra-inning comeback win in the series.

League, who hit only two batters with pitches all last year, was nine-for-nine in save opportunities, before blowing two in three games against the Orioles.

Seattle had gone ahead in the 12th when Miguel Olivo drove in Ichiro Suzuki.