Atlanta at Arizona

W: J. Valverde (2-1) L: C. Reitsma (1-2)
HR: ATL - A. LaRoche (6)   ARI - J. DaVanon (2)

Counsell's game-winning single downs Braves in ninth

CBS wire reports

PHOENIX -- For the second consecutive game, the Arizona Diamondbacks dug themselves a big hole in the first inning.

This time they climbed all the way out of it.

The Diamondbacks trailed Atlanta by five runs before their first at-bat, went ahead in the sixth inning, fell behind again in the ninth and then rallied for a 10-9 victory Friday night.

In the ninth against Atlanta closer Chris Reitsma (1-2), Shawn Green doubled in the tying run and Craig Counsell singled home the game-winner as the Diamondbacks moved into first place in the NL West, a half-game ahead of San Diego.

"We don't want to make that a habit, but it's definitely exciting," Luis Gonzalez said. "When we fall behind, we still have that confidence."

That's why the Diamondbacks didn't panic when they found themselves trailing by five runs in the first inning. Two nights earlier, they trailed San Diego 10-0 in the second inning and brought the tying run to the plate in the sixth before losing 14-10. They've rallied to win a game after trailing 6-0 and erased six- and seven-run deficits in losses.

"It's happened so much, it's like it doesn't matter what the score is, almost," Counsell said. "I think we feel like at some point we're going to get back in the game, and that's a pretty good feeling."

The Braves had a sick feeling, getting the loss despite finishing with 16 hits.

The Diamondbacks' final rally nullified a big night by Atlanta's Adam LaRoche, who hit a grand slam and singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth off Arizona closer Jose Valverde (2-1). Valverde allowed a leadoff double to Brian McCann. Pete Orr pinch ran for McCann, took third on Jeff Francoeur's fly ball and scored on LaRoche's line-drive single to center.

LaRoche went 3-for-5 and drove in a career-high five runs for the Braves, who had won four straight.

Reitsma (1-2) couldn't hold the lead. Gonzalez led off with a double and scored on Green's double one out later. The Braves intentionally walked Johnny Estrada. After Orlando Hudson flied out, Reitsma hit Tony Clark, a .164 hitter, with an 0-2 pitch.

That turned out to be a huge mistake when the .312-hitting Counsell lined a single to right to end it.

"I was just brutal," said Reitsma, who blew his third save in 10 chances. "I feel like this one's on me. I feel terrible about it."

Arizona came all the back from an early 5-0 deficit and took an 8-6 lead, but Chipper Jones hit a two-run single off Brandon Lyon to tie it in the eighth.

The Braves jumped ahead against starter Miguel Batista. After Marcus Giles and Edgar Renteria singled, Batista walked Jones to load the bases.

Batista struck out Andruw Jones, then walked McCann to force in a run.

Batista was close to escaping the jam when he struck out Francoeur for the second out. But LaRoche launched a pitch into the pool area beyond the right-center field wall for his second career grand slam, and the Braves led 5-0.

"We're down five, and we come back in the dugout and it's like, 'We've been there, we've done this before, don't try to do too much,' " Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. "I think that's one of the keys is that we don't feel like we have to get it all back in one inning."

"I think we've done this enough times to know that and to believe in ourselves and to just keep coming back and keep persevering."

Batista found his groove after his first-inning meltdown, retiring 10 straight batters beginning in the third inning. He allowed five runs and eight hits with three walks in six innings, striking out five.

Arizona got one run back in the bottom of the first on Gonzalez's single and pulled to 5-2 on a fourth-inning sacrifice fly by Estrada, whom the Braves traded to Arizona last winter.

The Diamondbacks kept chipping away at Atlanta starter John Thomson, who had allowed more than one earned run in only one of his first seven starts.

In the fifth, Gonzalez drove in run with a groundout and Conor Jackson had a sacrifice fly to make it 5-4.

With two aboard in the sixth, DaVanon fell behind Thomson 0-2 before belting a 2-2 pitch into the right-field seats to give Arizona a 7-5 lead.


  • LaRoche's other regular-season grand slam came off former Dodgers pitcher Jeff Weaver on May 13, 2005. LaRoche also hit a grand slam in Game 4 of the NL division series against Houston last October.
  • The Braves announced that RHP Travis Smith, who has been pitching for Triple-A Richmond, will start Saturday.
  • Thomson singled twice to raise his average to .389 (7-for-18).
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Craig Counsell comes through with the bases loaded, driving in the winning run in the ninth.  (AP)
Craig Counsell comes through with the bases loaded, driving in the winning run in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game

A. LaRoche
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1

C. Counsell
AB 5
R 2
H 3
HR 0

Related Video

Atlanta Braves
Marcus Giles, 2B6110028 .239
Edgar Renteria, SS3210200 .333
Chipper Jones, 3B4132100 .309
Andruw Jones, CF5011016 .276
Brian McCann, C3111201 .353
    Pete Orr, PR0100000 .213
    Todd Pratt, C0000000 .194
Jeff Francoeur, RF5000017 .261
Adam LaRoche, 1B5135020 .246
Ryan Langerhans, LF5120032 .267
John Thomson, P2020000 .389
    Macay McBride, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1110000 .397
    Mike Remlinger, P0000000 .000
   b- Wilson Betemit, PH1010000 .284
    Chris Reitsma, P0000000 .000
a-doubled for McBride in the 8th
b-singled for Remlinger in the 9th
2B - Brian McCann (10, Valverde), Matt Diaz (3, Lyon)
HR - Adam LaRoche (6, Batista)
SH - John Thomson (1)
RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (24), Andruw Jones (40), Brian McCann (21), Adam LaRoche 5 (24)
2-OUT RBI - Chipper Jones 2 (6), Adam LaRoche 4 (15)
Team LOB - 10
Outfield Assists - Ryan Langerhans 1
DP - Jones-McCann, Remlinger-Renteria-LaRoche
E - Jeff Francoeur (3, Wild throw), Edgar Renteria (5, Wild throw)
Atlanta Braves
John Thomson 5.2876311 2.76
Macay McBride 1.1411110 4.22
Mike Remlinger 1000100 3.21
Chris Reitsma (BS,3; L,1-2) 0.2322100 6.50
IBB - Estrada by Chris Reitsma
HBP - Clark (by Chris Reitsma)
Pitches-Strikes - John Thomson 98-59, Macay McBride 21-13, Mike Remlinger 7-3, Chris Reitsma 28-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Thomson 6-11, Macay McBride 1-0, Mike Remlinger 1-1
Batters Faced - John Thomson 29, Macay McBride 7, Mike Remlinger 3, Chris Reitsma 7
Arizona Diamondbacks
Craig Counsell, SS5231100 .312
Jeff DaVanon, CF4323101 .301
Chad Tracy, 3B5010012 .294
Luis Gonzalez, LF5331000 .280
Conor Jackson, 1B4032001 .297
Shawn Green, RF4111104 .336
Johnny Estrada, C3012100 .313
Orlando Hudson, 2B4000103 .217
Miguel Batista, P2000012 .158
   a- Andy Green, PH0100100 .242
    Brandon Medders, P0000000 .000
   b- Damion Easley, PH1010002 .237
    Brandon Lyon, P0000000 .000
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
   c- Tony Clark, PH0000000 .164
a-walked for Batista in the 6th
b-singled for Medders in the 7th
c-hit by pitch for Valverde in the 9th
2B - Luis Gonzalez (13, Reitsma), Shawn Green (7, Reitsma)
HR - Jeff DaVanon (2, Thomson)
SF - Conor Jackson (3), Johnny Estrada (4)
RBI - Craig Counsell (14), Jeff DaVanon 3 (18), Luis Gonzalez (22), Conor Jackson 2 (25), Shawn Green (15), Johnny Estrada 2 (28)
2-OUT RBI - Craig Counsell (4), Jeff DaVanon 3 (8), Conor Jackson (9)
Team LOB - 10
DP - Hudson-Counsell-Jackson, Hudson-Counsell-Jackson
Arizona Diamondbacks
Miguel Batista 6855351 4.78
Brandon Medders (H,3) 1211100 3.00
Brandon Lyon (BS,2) 1322120 3.38
Jose Valverde (W,2-1) 1311020 2.60
Pitches-Strikes - Miguel Batista 105-66, Brandon Medders 21-13, Brandon Lyon 31-21, Jose Valverde 24-17
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Miguel Batista 8-4, Brandon Medders 2-0, Brandon Lyon 1-0
Batters Faced - Miguel Batista 28, Brandon Medders 5, Brandon Lyon 7, Jose Valverde 6
Game Information
Attendance - 25056
Game Time - 3:20
Temperature - 79
Umpires - Home - Kerwin Danley, First Base - Gary Cederstrom, Second Base - Jim Reynolds, Third Base - Bill Welke