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San Diego at Atlanta

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San Diego (12-22)010001000260
Atlanta (17-15) «02000030x5111

Norton's bases-loaded hit sends Braves to fifth straight win

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Greg Norton was brought to Atlanta to provide some punch in a pinch.

On Wednesday night, it was job well done for the Braves' new addition.

Norton broke a seventh-inning tie with a bases-loaded, pinch-hit single, and Atlanta beat the San Diego Padres 5-2 for its fifth straight win.

"It was big," Norton said. "I know that's my role, to try to help the team coming off the bench. To actually do it, it was a big moment for me."

With the game tied 2-2, Padres starter Randy Wolf was lifted after loading the bases in the seventh on Brian McCann's double, Matt Diaz's single and Mark Kotsay's walk.

As a frustrated Wolf (2-2) threw his glove into the Padres' dugout, manager Bud Black brought in Joe Thatcher. Norton, obtained by the Braves from Seattle on Monday, drove in McCann with a single up the middle in his second at-bat with the Braves.

"We had a lot of big hits tonight, but certainly Norton's was the biggest," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "This has really added a new dimension, I think, to the bench."

Norton was acquired for a player to be named later or cash.

Kelly Johnson's fly ball to center drove in Diaz, and Yunel Escobar added a run-scoring single to left for a 5-2 lead. Wolf gave up eight hits and five runs with four walks and one strikeout.

"I never felt like I was in control of the game," Wolf said. "I never had my good command. I just battled through."

Tim Hudson (5-2) gave up six hits and two runs in seven innings. He walked three and struck out three. Manny Acosta recorded the final two outs for his third save.

The Braves (17-15) are two games over .500 for the first time this season. With five straight wins -- all at home -- Atlanta improved to 13-4 at Turner Field.

"The Braves are swinging the bats," Black said. "They hit some balls leading off the seventh, and we couldn't get through it."

Chipper Jones was 2-for-4 to improve the majors' best batting average to .429. He has 16 multi-hit games and has hits in 27 of 30 games.

"He's just hard to stop right now," Cox said. "I think how you have to explain Chipper Jones right now is just hope your defense is where the ball is hit. He's that good. He's cracking the ball as good as I've ever seen. You're talking about a guy who was second in the league in hitting last year, so it's not a fluke."

The Padres took a 1-0 lead in the second on a balk call on Hudson that led to Cox's ejection by third-base umpire Wally Bell. It was Cox's 137th career ejection, extending his major league record, and his second this season.

Cox and Hudson argued that Hudson stepped toward home plate on a fake pickoff throw to third with San Diego's Kevin Kouzmanoff on third base. Both Hudson and Cox pointed to the spot on the mound where they said Hudson's foot landed.

Kouzmanoff, who opened the inning with a double to left and moved to third on Paul McAnulty's single, scored on the balk.

Hudson, still upset after Cox left the field, settled down after Jones visited the mound.

"My emotions, I overdid it out there a little bit," Hudson said. "But you never know if that's going to cost you the ball game or not at that time.

"(Jones) just told me he needed me to settle down. We needed me to pitch deep in the game. I was probably definitely pushing it. If I were the umpire, I would have tossed me. But they gave me the benefit of the doubt right there and I was able to settle in."

Wolf walked Mark Teixeira and Jeff Francoeur to open the bottom of the second. A single by McCann, who had three hits, loaded the bases with no outs.

Teixeira scored when Diaz grounded into a double play. Francoeur scored on Mark Kotsay's single to left for a 2-1 lead.

The Padres tied the game in the sixth. Tadahito Iguchi led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on an infield hit by Adrian Gonzalez and scored on Kouzmanoff's double-play grounder.

Notes

  • Cox said after the game the Braves plan to activate infielder Omar Infante on Thursday. Infante opened the season on the disabled list with a fractured right hand. The Braves may make a roster move with catcher Brayan Pena, who has a back sprain, to clear a spot for Infante.
  • The Padres fell to 6-13 in road games.
  • The Braves hit into four double plays in the first six innings, including two by Francoeur.
  • The Braves also won five straight from April 17-21.
 
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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Greg Norton was acquired from Seattle for a player to be named later or cash considerations. (AP)
Greg Norton was acquired from Seattle for a player to be named later or cash considerations. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

B. McCann
AB 4
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Atlanta

T. Hudson
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 2
BB 3
K 3
 

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San Diego Padres
Brian Giles, RF4000010 .276
Tadahito Iguchi, 2B4110010 .250
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4010010 .296
Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B4120000 .283
Paul McAnulty, LF2010101 .238
   a- Scott Hairston, PH1000010 .198
Jim Edmonds, CF2010101 .180
   b- Callix Crabbe, PH1000000 .200
Khalil Greene, SS4000013 .206
Josh Bard, C2000100 .212
Randy Wolf, P3000001 .125
    Joe Thatcher, P0000000 .000
    Cla Meredith, P0000000 .000
Totals3126035  
a-struck out for McAnulty in the 9th
b-grounded out for Edmonds in the 9th
Batting
2B - Kevin Kouzmanoff (5, Hudson)
SB - Tadahito Iguchi (4, 2nd base off Hudson/McCann)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Iguchi-Greene-Gonzalez, Kouzmanoff-Iguchi-Gonzalez, Greene-Iguchi-Gonzalez, Kouzmanoff-Iguchi-Gonzalez
San Diego Padres
Randy Wolf (L,2-2) 6855410 4.14
Joe Thatcher 1200000 6.35
Cla Meredith 1100020 3.45
Pitches-Strikes - Randy Wolf 86-54, Joe Thatcher 16-13, Cla Meredith 10-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Randy Wolf 8-5, Joe Thatcher 2-1, Cla Meredith 1-0
Batters Faced - Randy Wolf 26, Joe Thatcher 5, Cla Meredith 4
Atlanta Braves
Kelly Johnson, 2B3011000 .269
Yunel Escobar, SS4021001 .327
Chipper Jones, 3B4020001 .429
Mark Teixeira, 1B2100203 .254
Jeff Francoeur, RF3100112 .269
Brian McCann, C4130000 .299
Matt Diaz, LF4110011 .295
Mark Kotsay, CF3111101 .309
Tim Hudson, P2000011 .083
   a- Greg Norton, PH1011000 .444
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
    Manny Acosta, P0000000 .000
Totals30511443  
a-singled for Hudson in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chipper Jones (7, Wolf), Brian McCann (10, Wolf)
SF - Kelly Johnson (2)
RBI - Kelly Johnson (15), Yunel Escobar (14), Mark Kotsay (15), Greg Norton (5)
2-OUT RBI - Mark Kotsay (7)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
DP - Escobar-Johnson-Teixeira, Escobar-Johnson-Teixeira
E - Chipper Jones (4, Throwing)
Atlanta Braves
Tim Hudson (W,5-2) 7622330 2.90
Blaine Boyer (H,6) 1000000 4.35
Will Ohman (H,5) 0.1000010 3.29
Manny Acosta 0.2000010 3.45
IBB - Bard by Tim Hudson
Pitches-Strikes - Tim Hudson 94-57, Blaine Boyer 8-5, Will Ohman 4-3, Manny Acosta 7-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tim Hudson 11-5, Blaine Boyer 1-2, Manny Acosta 1-0
Batters Faced - Tim Hudson 28, Blaine Boyer 3, Will Ohman 1, Manny Acosta 2
Game Information
Attendance - 25194
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 80
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Laz Diaz, Third Base - Wally Bell