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Renteria gives up on sacrifice, lifts Braves with second homer

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHILADELPHIA -- Next time Edgar Renteria squares to bunt against the Philadelphia Phillies, the pitcher might try to hit his bat.

After twice failing to execute a sacrifice, Renteria ripped his second homer -- a two-run shot -- in the 10th inning to lead the Atlanta Braves over Philadelphia 5-3 in the season opener Monday.

Renteria's solo shot off starter Brett Myers with two outs in the eighth inning tied it at 3.

"He couldn't get a bunt down, but he could hit a homer," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Renteria.

Last July, Renteria hit a tiebreaking RBI double off Myers after he failed to bunt in the ninth inning of a 5-1 win in Philly.

"I'm a bunting guy," said Renteria, who has 82 career sacrifices. "I'll try and move the guy to second every time. That's my game. Sometimes you hit the ball good and the ball goes out."

John Smoltz went six innings, Bob Wickman (1-0) pitched out of a jam in the ninth and Chad Paronto tossed a scoreless 10th for the save.

Kelly Johnson walked to start the 10th against Ryan Madson (0-1). Renteria fouled off two bunt attempts before hitting a liner into the right-center field seats.

"It's very disappointing to let my teammates down," said Madson, a key part of an oft-criticized bullpen.

Jimmy Rollins homered and Myers pitched 7 2/3 strong innings for the Phillies.

Brian McCann hit a two-run homer for the Braves.

"It's a great start," Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said. "Smoltz and Myers both pitched tremendous baseball. Our bullpen really held together, which is a huge plus for us this season."

Myers retired seven straight before Renteria ripped an 0-2 pitch off the brick wall beyond the center-field fence to tie it at 3.

"I thought I had him looking for an off-speed pitch and tried to throw it by him," Myers said. "I didn't make the pitch and he did what he was supposed to do with a bad pitch."

Leading 2-1, Smoltz ran into trouble in the sixth after retiring Philadelphia's two most dangerous hitters -- Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Pat Burrell blooped a single and Wes Helms followed with a double just out of Gold Glove center fielder Andruw Jones' reach to tie it at 2.

Aaron Rowand then hit a pop-up to shallow center that bounced off second baseman Johnson's glove, scoring Helms for a 3-2 lead. Johnson, a converted outfielder, appeared to lose the ball in the sun and it was ruled a single.

The Phillies missed a chance to add an important insurance run in the seventh after Rollins doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs against former Pirates closer Mike Gonzalez. But Gonzalez fanned Shane Victorino and Howard, and retired Utley on a grounder to shortstop to keep it at 3-2.

Utley prevented the go-ahead run from scoring in the ninth by making a diving stop on Ryan Langerhans' infield single up the middle. Tom Gordon then struck out pinch-hitter Brayan Pena to leave the bases loaded.

A sellout crowd of 44,742 turned out for the fourth season opener at Citizens Bank Park. They were rowdy right from the start, booing Burrell in pregame introductions and giving Howard, the reigning NL MVP, a standing ovation.

A few minutes later, some fans wiped tears during a touching tribute for longtime coach and former player John Vukovich, former All-Star outfielder Johnny Callison, former pitcher Cory Lidle, former pitching coach Vern Ruhle and longtime organist Paul Richardson. Each died in the offseason.

McCann gave the Braves a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning with a line-drive homer into the right-field seats.

Rollins cut it to 2-1 with a solo shot in the fifth.

Smoltz allowed three runs and eight hits, striking out seven in the best of his four opening-day starts. Smoltz came in with a 7.71 ERA as a starter in season openers.

Myers gave up three runs and four hits in his first opening day assignment. He struck out nine and walked two.

In a surprise lineup switch, Manuel flip-flopped Utley and Howard in the 3-4 spots. For months, Manuel said he preferred to leave Utley in the No. 3 hole and Howard in the cleanup spot with Burrell batting fifth.

The issue of who should protect Howard in the lineup was a major topic in the offseason, especially after the Phillies failed to land free-agent slugger Alfonso Soriano. Howard was intentionally walked in the ninth, but Wickman got Utley to foul out to third base to leave the winning run at second base.

"Whatever Charlie wants is fine," Howard said.

Notes

  • The Phillies are 56-67-2 in season openers. The Braves are 18-24 in openers since moving to Atlanta, including 9-14 on the road.
  • "VUK" was painted inside the third-base coaching box to honor Vukovich, who passed away last month. Vukovich's son, Vince, threw out the first pitch.
  • Renteria has six career multihomer games.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Edgar Renteria gets dugout props after his two-run homer in the 10th inning.  (AP)
Edgar Renteria gets dugout props after his two-run homer in the 10th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Philadelphia

B. Myers
IP 7.2
H 4
ER 3
BB 2
K 9
Atlanta

E. Renteria
AB 5
R 2
H 2
HR 2
RBI 3
 
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B4100120 .000
Edgar Renteria, SS5223000 .400
Chipper Jones, 3B3110210 .333
Andruw Jones, CF5000003 .000
Brian McCann, C4132011 .750
    Pete Orr, PR0000000 .000
    Bob Wickman, P0000000 .000
   a- Matt Diaz, PH1000000 .000
    Chad Paronto, P0000000 .000
Jeff Francoeur, RF4000022 .000
Scott Thorman, 1B4000011 .000
Ryan Langerhans, LF4010021 .250
John Smoltz, P2000010 .000
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   b- Craig Wilson, PH1000010 .000
    Rafael Soriano, P0000000 .000
   c- Brayan Pena, PH-C1000013 .000
Totals38575312  
a-popped out for Wickman in the 10th
b-struck out for Gonzalez in the 8th
c-struck out for Soriano in the 9th
Batting
2B - Brian McCann (1, Myers)
HR - Edgar Renteria 2 (2, Myers, Madson), Brian McCann (1, Myers)
RBI - Edgar Renteria 3 (3), Brian McCann 2 (2)
2-OUT RBI - Edgar Renteria (1)
Team LOB - 6
Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz 6833171 4.50
Mike Gonzalez 1100120 0.00
Rafael Soriano 1000100 0.00
Bob Wickman (W,1-0) 1100110 0.00
Chad Paronto (S,1) 1000010 0.00
IBB - Howard by Bob Wickman
Pitches-Strikes - John Smoltz 97-67, Mike Gonzalez 16-10, Rafael Soriano 20-13, Bob Wickman 16-9, Chad Paronto 10-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Smoltz 6-4, Mike Gonzalez 1-0, Rafael Soriano 2-1, Bob Wickman 1-1, Chad Paronto 1-1
Batters Faced - John Smoltz 26, Mike Gonzalez 5, Rafael Soriano 4, Bob Wickman 5, Chad Paronto 3
Philadelphia Phillies
Jimmy Rollins, SS5121030 .400
Shane Victorino, RF5010022 .200
Ryan Howard, 1B4020122 .500
Chase Utley, 2B5010006 .200
Pat Burrell, LF4110120 .250
Wes Helms, 3B5111000 .200
Aaron Rowand, CF4021102 .500
Rod Barajas, C4000003 .000
Brett Myers, P2000120 .000
    Matt Smith, P0000000 .000
    Tom Gordon, P0000000 .000
   a- Greg Dobbs, PH1000000 .000
    Ryan Madson, P0000000 .000
Totals393103411  
a-grounded out for Gordon in the 9th
Batting
2B - Jimmy Rollins (1, Gonzalez), Shane Victorino (1, Wickman), Wes Helms (1, Smoltz)
HR - Jimmy Rollins (1, Smoltz)
RBI - Jimmy Rollins (1), Wes Helms (1), Aaron Rowand (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jimmy Rollins (1), Wes Helms (1), Aaron Rowand (1)
Team LOB - 10
Fielding
E - Ryan Howard (1, Misplayed grounder)
Philadelphia Phillies
Brett Myers 7.2433292 3.52
Matt Smith 0.1000000 0.00
Tom Gordon 1200020 0.00
Ryan Madson (L,0-1) 1122111 18.00
Pitches-Strikes - Brett Myers 105-69, Matt Smith 5-3, Tom Gordon 13-11, Ryan Madson 23-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brett Myers 5-9, Matt Smith 1-0, Tom Gordon 1-1, Ryan Madson 1-1
Batters Faced - Brett Myers 29, Matt Smith 1, Tom Gordon 6, Ryan Madson 5
Game Information
Attendance - 44742
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Ed Montague, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bill Miller, Third Base - Marvin Hudson