Kotchman delivers for Braves in Philly

BY foxsports • May 11, 2009

Casey Kotchman lofted a short fly to center field in the third inning and angrily slammed his bat to the ground.

He took out his aggression on the Phillies the rest of the game.

Kotchman had three hits and three RBIs, Kenshin Kawakami pitched six effective innings and the Atlanta Braves rallied for a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.

Kotchman hit a two-out, two-run single off Jack Taschner (1-1) in the seventh inning to give the Braves a 3-2 lead. He also had an RBI double in the ninth.

"I'm just trying to make the most of the opportunities I get, said Kotchman, who went 3 for 5 to raise his average to .312.

Garret Anderson had two hits for the Braves (15-16), who took two of three from the Phillies to move within one game of .500. Rafael Soriano worked the ninth for his third save in three opportunities.

Matt Stairs got a rare start for Philadelphia and went 2 for 2 with a run-scoring double and a walk. Ryan Howard also had a pair of doubles and scored two runs.

The Phillies fell to 0-10 when scoring three runs or less.

"We definitely have to play better," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have to be more consistent. We haven't put it together like we want to."

Kawakami (2-4) allowed two runs and five hits, struck out six and walked four. The 33-year-old rookie, a six-time All-Star in Japan, picked up his first win in nearly a month.

"Kawakami pitched a gutsy game," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He had great stuff and kept the left-handers off balance."

Brett Myers turned in a solid outing for Philadelphia, yielding one run and five hits despite hitting two batters. He was lifted for pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs in the bottom of the sixth despite throwing only 92 pitches.

"I felt a little better and had more control than in the past," Myers said. "I felt stronger."

Myers helped end Chipper Jones' 29-game hitting streak against the Phillies. Jones was 0-for-3 with a walk, marking the first time since April 5, 2007, that he failed to register a hit against Philadelphia. Jones' streak was the longest by a Braves player against another team since 1954.

Jones left in the seventh with a sore elbow and is listed as day to day.

"I couldn't throw across the infield," Jones said. "I'll see how it feels (Monday). If I can play, I'll play."

The Braves loaded the bases with no outs in the first but managed just one run on a sacrifice fly to center by Anderson.

Pedro Feliz tied it with an RBI single in the second.


Philadelphia C Carlos Ruiz started after sitting out the previous two games with a strained right oblique. ... The game drew a sellout crowd of 45,343 and the weekend series attracted 135,994, a record for a three-game series at Citizens Bank Park. ... Philadelphia's Shane Victorino was 0 for 13 in the three-game series. ... Atlanta's Jeff Francoeur was hitless in five at-bats, snapping his season-high 10-game hitting streak.

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