Orioles edge Braves; Chipper upset
Chipper Jones felt gratified to earn a surprise All-Star berth on the vote of players.
Jones, the Braves’ veteran third baseman, didn’t believe he received the same respect from home plate umpire Mark Ripperger.
Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, Nick Markakis had a career-high five hits and the Baltimore Orioles beat Atlanta 5-4 on Sunday to end their five-game losing streak.
The Braves had their five-game winning streak snapped and were denied their third straight interleague sweep.
Jones earned his seventh All-Star selection and his first since 2008, when he started. He will join Atlanta teammates Jair Jurrjens, Brian McCann and Jonny Venters on the NL team. McCann was voted the starting catcher.
Jones, hitting .256, said he was ”shocked” to be voted by his peers. He said he was told of the vote by manager Fredi Gonzalez.
”Fredi called me into his office and told me and I was like, ‘OK, where’s the hidden camera?”’ Jones said.
”To have the respect of your peers, that’s awfully flattering. I’d best keep up my end of the bargain.”
The honor had Jones, 39, feeling warm and fuzzy until he was called out on strikes by Ripperger to end the game.
Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth, including the strikeout of Jones, for his 15th save.
Jones started to walk to first base on what he thought was ball four. Jones also took Gregg’s next pitch as Ripperger called strike three on a pitch that appeared to be off the plate.
”It’s always frustrating when you’re not allowed to do your job,” Jones said. ”But I’ve said time and time again, the officiating in this league is substandard. For the most part.
”If a guy’s not doing his job, I’m going to say something. If I get fined, I get fined. I don’t care. I’m a competitor. … I know they’re balls. I’ve been here 18 years. I know when a guy’s trying to pitch around me.”
Gonzalez also criticized Ripperger’s calls.
”I came back in here and looked at the video,” Gonzalez said. ”I thought they were awful. I thought the balls were away. Not even close. It’s hard to swallow, to lose a game on those two balls like that.”
Braves rookie Brandon Beachy gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. He struck out six, including five in the first two innings.
”I just didn’t have a feel for anything,” Beachy said. ”Leaving them up. Leaving them down. Leaving them in the middle. … Pretty much anything you could think of, I was making those mistakes.”
Zach Britton gave up three runs in five-plus innings and hit his first career homer. Jim Johnson (5-1) gave up one run in two innings.
Markakis had a run-scoring double in the sixth. Markakis had three hits in Saturday night’s loss after his 19-game hitting streak ended Friday night.
Reynolds also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the third. He had two homers in the Orioles’ 5-4 loss to the Braves on Saturday night.
Britton was pulled after giving up a walk and two hits, including Freddie Freeman’s RBI single, to open the Braves’ four-run sixth. Johnson gave up a single to Nate McLouth to load the bases.
Julio Lugo’s groundout drove in McCann before pinch-hitter Eric Hinske’s two-run single off Johnson gave Atlanta a 4-3 lead.
Markakis hit a one-out single off Scott Proctor (1-2) in the seventh before Reynolds smashed the go-ahead homer, his 18th, into the left-field seats. McLouth barely moved in left field as he watched the homer.
Britton gave up three runs and six hits and three walks in five-plus innings. The rookie left-hander’s highlight was his first career homer off Beachy in the third. Britton also had an infield single.
The Braves loaded the bases with one out in the fifth but couldn’t score. Lugo walked, pinch-hitter Wilkin Ramirez singled to left and Jordan Schafer reached on a bunt single before Jason Heyward hit into a double play to end the inning.
McCann had two hits. He just missed a homer in the seventh when his long fly ball hit off the top of the right-field wall. Markakis fielded the bounce off the wall and threw out McCann at second base.
McLouth gave Baltimore reliever Koji Uehara a scare in the eighth when his long fly ball to right field was caught by Markakis at the wall.
NOTES: Kris Benson hit the last home run by a Baltimore pitcher on June 17, 2006, against the Mets. … OF Martin Prado, recovering from a staph infection in his right leg, hopes to begin a minor league rehabilitation stint in a few days. … Jones said after the game he would have another cortisone shot in his right knee later Sunday. He had shots in the knee on May 15, but still has discomfort caused by a torn meniscus.