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San Diego at Atlanta

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San Diego «3010012007131
Atlanta000000201363

Padres break out early to upend Braves 7-3

SportsLine.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Brian Lawrence knew little or nothing about most of the batters in the Atlanta Braves' makeshift lineup.

He did just fine anyway.

Khalil Greene led off the game with a home run and Jay Payton also connected in the first inning, sending Lawrence and the San Diego Padres over the Braves 7-3 Thursday.

The Padres scored three quick runs off Mike Hampton (0-3) and won for the ninth time in 12 games.

Hurt by injuries, the Braves were sloppy in the field early, but later turned a triple play.

"When you have a team that is hurting like them, you feel like you should definitely win two of three," Lawrence said after the Padres accomplished the feat. "It does make it a little more comfortable out there."

Lawrence (4-2) pitched seven solid innings in his longest outing of the season, topping the six innings he lasted against San Francisco on April 10. He allowed only five hits, including a two-run homer to pinch-hitter Julio Franco in the seventh.

"He kept the ball down and got his groundballs," San Diego manager Bruce Bochy said. "It looked like he found himself out there."

Of course, the lineup Lawrence faced was far from formidable. J.D. Drew, Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal all missed the game with injuries, and left fielder Chipper Jones still is on the disabled list with a partially torn hamstring.

That left Atlanta manager Bobby Cox with few options.

Regular third baseman Mark DeRosa moved to shortstop to replace Furcal, and Jesse Garcia took over for Giles at second. Center fielder Andruw Jones, who had more experience in the majors than the other fielders combined, was flanked by reserves Dewayne Wise and Damon Hollins.

Jones struck out three times and finished 0-for-11 in the series.

"It's unbelievable," Atlanta catcher Johnny Estrada said. "They could go 0-for-4, but just having the presence of them in our lineup makes everyone else better.

"The guys who've stepped in their place have been battling. But we just put ourselves in a hole early and I think some guys start pressing."

The Padres had no such trouble. Greene led off the game with his first homer of the season, and Mark Loretta walked. He advanced to third on a single by Brian Giles, then scored when Phil Nevin grounded into a double play.

Payton followed with another home run to give San Diego a 3-0 lead.

"It's crazy," Hampton said. "I thought the pitches I made were pretty decent. The first home run, I thought it might drop in. And then the second one, I didn't think it had a shot, either.

"I guess that's baseball."

The Braves helped their deficit grow by botching two double plays. In the third, DeRosa, who made four errors in a game earlier in the week, couldn't get the ball out of his glove after forcing Nevin at second and eventually threw late to first, allowing Loretta to score.

Garcia had problems in the sixth. He threw wildly to first when trying to complete a double play on a grounder by Ramon Vazquez, and Brian Buchanan came home to make it 5-0.

Atlanta turned an around-the-horn triple play on a grounder by pinch-hitter Kerry Robinson in the eighth, drawing a mock cheer from the crowd of 26,137.

"We thought Robinson was a good guy to stay out of a double play. Well, we did that," Bochy quipped.

Meanwhile, Hampton's up-and-down season continued. In his previous start, he gave up only two runs in five innings to Colorado, but got tagged for six earned runs in 6 1-3 innings Thursday.

"He was trying to work both sides of the plate, but we were able to put his good pitches in play and then take advantage of his mistakes," Giles said.

The Padres went ahead 7-0 in the seventh on a run-scoring single by Giles, who later scored on a double by Payton.

Jones scored on a wild pitch in the ninth to make it 7-3.

Notes

The Braves turned their previous triple play Aug. 10, 2003, against St. Louis, when Furcal had an unassisted triple play. ... Franco's homer was the first as a pinch-hitter in his 20-year career. ... Loretta finished 3-for-4 with a walk and reached on an error. Giles also had three hits.


AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
 
 
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Players of the Game
Atlanta

J. Franco
AB 1
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
San Diego

B. Lawrence
IP 7.0
H 5
ER 2
BB 1
K 8
 
San Diego Padres
Khalil Greene, SS5121010 .292
Mark Loretta, 2B4330100 .345
Brian Giles, RF5131001 .283
Phil Nevin, 1B5010013 .265
Jay Payton, CF4123000 .256
Brian Buchanan, LF4100013 .280
    Scott Linebrink, P0000000 .000
    Jay Witasick, P0000000 .000
Ramon Hernandez, C4020000 .215
Ramon Vazquez, 3B3000100 .129
Brian Lawrence, P3000011 .333
   a- Kerry Robinson, PH-LF1000002 .320
Totals3871352410 
a-hit into a triple play for Lawrence in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Loretta (8, Hampton), Jay Payton (5, Alfonseca)
HR - Khalil Greene (1, Hampton), Jay Payton (2, Hampton)
RBI - Khalil Greene (11), Brian Giles (18), Jay Payton 3 (12)
2-OUT RBI - Jay Payton 2 (6)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
E - Khalil Greene (4, Misplayed grounder)
San Diego Padres
Brian Lawrence (W,4-2) 7522181 5.06
Scott Linebrink 1000000 1.69
Jay Witasick 1111110 2.92
WP - Jay Witasick (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Lawrence 93-67, Scott Linebrink 11-7, Jay Witasick 23-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Lawrence 8-6, Scott Linebrink 2-1, Jay Witasick 1-1
Batters Faced - Brian Lawrence 28, Scott Linebrink 3, Jay Witasick 5
Atlanta Braves
Dewayne Wise, RF4000001 .224
Mark DeRosa, SS4010000 .228
Adam LaRoche, 1B4000011 .221
Johnny Estrada, C3010100 .333
Andruw Jones, CF3100133 .270
Mike Hessman, 3B4010030 .143
Damon Hollins, LF4120012 .364
Jesse Garcia, 2B4000002 .298
Mike Hampton, P2000011 .182
    Antonio Alfonseca, P0000000 .000
   a- Julio Franco, PH1112000 .324
    Juan Cruz, P0000000 .000
    C.J. Nitkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- Eddie Perez, PH1000001 .176
Totals343622911 
a-homered for Alfonseca in the 7th
b-grounded out for Nitkowski in the 9th
Batting
2B - Johnny Estrada (9, Lawrence), Mike Hessman (3, Witasick)
HR - Julio Franco (1, Lawrence)
RBI - Julio Franco 2 (14)
2-OUT RBI - Julio Franco 2 (10)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - DeRosa-Garcia-LaRoche, Garcia-DeRosa-LaRoche
E - Mark DeRosa (6, Wild throw), Jesse Garcia (3, Wild throw to first allowed Vazquez to score), Mike Hessman (3, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Mike Hampton (L,0-3) 6.11176122 7.67
Antonio Alfonseca 0.2100010 4.50
Juan Cruz 1100100 3.75
C.J. Nitkowski 1000010 3.00
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Hampton 89-60, Antonio Alfonseca 12-8, Juan Cruz 10-4, C.J. Nitkowski 18-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Hampton 14-2, Antonio Alfonseca 1-0, Juan Cruz 1-0, C.J. Nitkowski 3-0
Batters Faced - Mike Hampton 30, Antonio Alfonseca 3, Juan Cruz 3, C.J. Nitkowski 4
Game Information
Attendance - 26137
Game Time - 2:29
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Jerry Crawford, First Base - Darren Spagnardi, Second Base - Phil Cuzzi, Third Base - James Hoye