Orioles 5, Braves 4
Mark Reynolds was upset rookie pitcher Zach Britton made hitting
a homer look so easy.
Reynolds shouldn’t be upset. His homer was longer and meant
Reynolds hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning, Nick
Markakis had a career-high five hits and the Baltimore Orioles beat
the Atlanta Braves 5-4 on Sunday to end their five-game losing
Britton gave up three runs in five-plus innings and had two
hits, including his first career homer.
”It kind of ticks you off as a position player to watch a
pitcher get hits like it’s nothing,” said Reynolds of Britton, who
is hitting .625 with five hits in eight at-bats in interleague
Jim Johnson (5-1) gave up one run in two innings.
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
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. Nate McLouth barely moved in left field as he
watched the homer.
Markakis said ”it’s definitely fun” watching Reynolds find his
home run swing.
”He’s a big ol’ boy up there,” Markakis said. ”If he gets
into one, it goes a long way.”
Markakis had a run-scoring double in the sixth. He had three
hits in Saturday night’s loss after his 19-game hitting streak
ended Friday night.
The Braves had their five-game winning streak snapped and were
denied their third straight interleague sweep.
Kevin Gregg pitched a perfect ninth for his 15th save.
Gregg struck out Chipper Jones to end the game. Jones started to
walk to first base on what he thought was ball four. Jones also
took Gregg’s next pitch as home-plate umpire Mark 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.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez also criticized Ripperger’s
”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
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 McLouth to load the
Julio Lugo’s groundout drove in Brian McCann before pinch-hitter
Eric Hinske’s two-run single off Johnson gave Atlanta a 4-3
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 Brian Beachy in the third. Britton also had an
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.
Beachy gave up three runs and seven hits in five innings. He
struck out six, including five in the first two innings.
McCann, who was selected as the NL’s All-Star starting catcher,
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. … Chipper 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.