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Los Angeles at Atlanta

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L.A. Dodgers (7-10)010000000171
Atlanta (8-9) «00004000x480

James fills in admirably in Braves' victory

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Chuck James served up a fat pitch to an old friend. That was the only thing he gave the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Filling in for Tom Glavine, James allowed one run in five innings and the Atlanta bullpen shut down the Dodgers the rest of the way for the Braves' third straight win, 4-1 on Saturday.

Mark Teixeira's two-run single highlighted a four-run fifth that accounted for all the Atlanta scoring and handed James (1-1) the win.

The slender lefty was recalled from Triple-A Richmond on Friday night after Glavine went on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year career. James caught a 6 a.m. flight from Richmond and landed about eight hours before his first pitch.

"It's been a long time since I went out and threw and felt like I could compete out there and have fun," he said. "It's awesome."

Andruw Jones, the longtime Braves center fielder now playing for the Dodgers, showed signs of breaking out of his slump. He hit a towering drive deep into the left-field seats in the second, his first homer for Los Angeles. The 10-time Gold Glover couldn't resist a little poke at James.

"I saved him so many times last year, that's the one thing he can do for me," Jones quipped.

"Up and in is a dangerous pitch to him," James said, "especially when you don't have a lot on it."

Otherwise, the Braves starter was in command. He allowed four hits, walked one and struck out two before giving way to the Braves bullpen. Jorge Campillo pitched two scoreless innings, Blaine Boyer went one and Manny Acosta worked the ninth for his first career save.

James won 11 games each of the past two years for the Braves, but he struggled down the stretch in 2007 and was diagnosed after the season with a partially torn rotator cuff. Brought along carefully during spring training, he started the season on the disabled list before making a quicker-than-expected start at Colorado after Mike Hampton went on the DL.

That one didn't go so well -- James surrendered six runs in three innings of a 12-6 loss. But, after making one start at Richmond, he looked like a much different pitcher against the Dodgers.

"I didn't know where to restart or go back to," he said. "Just going down there in kind of a stress-free environment and getting to work on some stuff down there, I feel like I'm definitely on the right track to getting back."

Chipper Jones didn't go deep after hitting two homers in each of the two previous games, but the Braves third baseman did extend his hitting streak to 11 games with a third-inning single.

Andruw Jones, who still has a home in Atlanta, changed his luck by parking in the Braves' lot.

"I just decided to park there," he said. "I'm surprised they didn't tell me to pull my car out."

Jones got a standing ovation from the Turner Field crowd after homering. He waved to his parents, sitting in John Smoltz's luxury box, on his way back to the visiting dugout.

Chad Billingsley (0-3) matched his career high with nine strikeouts and breezed through the first four innings. But it all fell apart for the Los Angeles starter after he fanned pinch-hitter Brayan Pena leading off the fifth.

Kelly Johnson walked, Yunel Escobar singled to left and Chipper Jones walked to load the bases. Teixeira then ripped a pitch the opposite way to left, driving in two runs to put the Braves ahead.

"It was good to get that hit," said Teixeira, who's beginning to snap out of his early-season slump. "That was really the only inning where we could score."

The Braves weren't done. Brian McCann walked to load the bases again, and Jeff Francoeur made it 3-1 with an RBI groundout. Finally, Billingsley's defense bailed him out.

Mark Kotsay lined a run-scoring single to right, but Matt Kemp threw out the slow-running McCann at the plate to end the inning. McCann didn't even bother sliding.

That was the final pitch for Billingsley, who allowed six hits and walked five in five innings.

"I started rushing," he said. "I was trying to do damage control."

Notes

  • The Braves have allowed only two runs in their past three games.
  • Escobar stretched his hitting streak to 12 games.
  • Billingsley had nine Ks for the fourth time in his career.
  • The Braves (8-9) have a chance to get back to .500 in Sunday's series finale.
  • James had some tightness in his forearm, but said it shouldn't keep him from making his next start.
 
Copyright 2015 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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Chuck James allows one run in five innings and fills in for Tom Glavine.  (AP)
Chuck James allows one run in five innings and fills in for Tom Glavine. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Teixeira
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 2
Los Angeles

R. Furcal
AB 4
R 0
H 2
HR 0
RBI 0
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS4020002 .409
Andre Ethier, LF4010012 .283
Matt Kemp, RF4010013 .286
Jeff Kent, 2B4010003 .281
James Loney, 1B4000023 .317
Nomar Garciaparra, 3B4000001 .100
Andruw Jones, CF1111200 .182
Gary Bennett, C2000001 .000
   a- Juan Pierre, PH1000001 .294
    Esteban Loaiza, P0000000 .000
Chad Billingsley, P1010000 .333
    Joe Beimel, P0000000 .000
   b- Russell Martin, PH-C1000001 .193
Totals3017124  
a-hit into fielder's choice for Bennett in the 7th
b-hit into fielder's choice for Beimel in the 7th
Batting
2B - Matt Kemp (1, James)
HR - Andruw Jones (1, James)
SH - Chad Billingsley (1)
RBI - Andruw Jones (3)
2-OUT RBI - Andruw Jones (2)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Matt Kemp 1
E - Nomar Garciaparra (2, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley (L,0-3) 5644590 6.14
Joe Beimel 1100010 1.35
Esteban Loaiza 2100000 3.95
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 99-56, Joe Beimel 17-14, Esteban Loaiza 24-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 4-1, Joe Beimel 1-1, Esteban Loaiza 3-4
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 25, Joe Beimel 4, Esteban Loaiza 8
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B3100213 .228
Yunel Escobar, SS4110022 .324
Chipper Jones, 3B3110100 .449
Mark Teixeira, 1B4122002 .221
Brian McCann, C3000111 .283
Jeff Francoeur, RF4001011 .275
Mark Kotsay, CF3021101 .262
Gregor Blanco, LF4020023 .385
Chuck James, P1000010 .000
   a- Brayan Pena, PH1000010 .250
    Jorge Campillo, P1000011 .000
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
   b- Ruben Gotay, PH1000001 .300
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
Totals32484510  
a-struck out for James in the 5th
b-flied out for Boyer in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (3, Billingsley)
RBI - Mark Teixeira 2 (9), Jeff Francoeur (14), Mark Kotsay (4)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (3)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Jones-Johnson-Teixeira, Jones-Johnson-Teixeira, Escobar-Teixeira
Atlanta Braves
Chuck James (W,1-1) 5411121 7.88
Jorge Campillo (H,1) 2100110 0.00
Blaine Boyer (H,2) 1100010 4.09
Manny Acosta (S,1) 1100000 4.50
Pitches-Strikes - Chuck James 69-41, Jorge Campillo 29-19, Blaine Boyer 14-9, Manny Acosta 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chuck James 2-10, Jorge Campillo 3-2, Blaine Boyer 1-0, Manny Acosta 2-0
Batters Faced - Chuck James 19, Jorge Campillo 8, Blaine Boyer 3, Manny Acosta 3
Game Information
Attendance - 40451
Game Time - 2:40
Temperature - 71
Umpires - Home - Wally Bell, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Paul Schrieber