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Houston at Atlanta

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Houston (41-48)01000000000006150
Atlanta (42-47) «00120000000017171

Braves win longest game in Turner Field history

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- As much as the Atlanta Braves have struggled recently, Mark Teixeira couldn't imagine the toll of losing a 17-inning marathon.

"We had to have this game," the first baseman said, "especially going on a long road trip."

Teixeira singled off the wall in left-center with the bases loaded in the 17th, giving the Atlanta Braves a 7-6 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday in the longest game in Turner Field history.

Rain delayed the start of the game by 1 hour, 50 minutes, and solid pitching extended it much longer. The Braves, who begin a six-game West Coast trip on Monday, rallied with two runs in the eighth inning to tie it, and each team had several chances to score the go-ahead run.

Gregor Blanco finally did, after singling off Tim Byrdak (2-1) to lead off the 17th. Yunel Escobar followed with a bunt single and Chipper Jones loaded the bases with a base hit to right, before Teixeira's ball went over the head of a drawn-in outfield for the winning hit.

"If we've got to work this hard to win one," Jones said with a laugh, "I don't know if we're going to have enough gas in the tank."

Royce Ring (2-1) pitched the 17th for Atlanta, getting Byrdak to ground out with Carlos Lee stranded at third to end the inning.

"My guys battled," Astros manager Cecil Cooper said. "That's all you can ask. Every pitcher that went there battled. We were down to using tomorrow's starter (Runelvys Hernandez). He would've been the next one out of the shoot."

The Braves have won two of three following a five-game losing streak, despite stranding 21 of the game's 35 runners. Each team used seven pitchers in the Braves' longest regular-season game since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 in 18 innings on Aug. 3, 1996.

Atlanta manager Bobby Cox wasn't around to see it, either. He was ejected for the fifth time this season for arguing Blanco's strikeout in the fifth inning.

The Braves and Houston have a history of playing extra innings. The two teams went 18 in Game 4 of the 2005 NLDS, which the Astros won 7-6 to clinch the series.

Early on, this one didn't looked as if it was destined to go 5 hours, 35 minutes.

Houston jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the third on Ty Wigginton's first career grand slam, but the Braves began chipping away. Jones and Teixeira drove in runs in their half of the third, and Teixeira drove in another run off Wesley Wright in the seventh that made it 6-4.

Escobar's two-run single in the eighth off Jose Valverde tied it up, clearing the way for the Braves to improve to 2-7 in extra innings and 5-21 in one-run games this season.

Jones, who leads the majors with a .388 average, finished 3-for-5 with a solo homer in the first inning. His run-scoring triple in the third was his first triple since last Aug. 11 at Pittsburgh.

Several hours after getting officially named as the NL starter at third base for the All-Star Game, Jones wanted no part of speculating if this victory could boost the Braves, who are five games under .500, six games out of first and in fourth place in their division.

"I'm so sick of answering that question," Jones said. "Let's just enjoy this and talk about starting a streak tomorrow."

Braves rookie right-hander Charlie Morton gave up all six runs on eight hits and a pair of walks in six innings, but the bullpen bailed him out. Six relievers combined to limit the Astros to six hits over the final 11 innings.

"That's the game-winner for us," Teixeira said of Atlanta's bullpen. "If those guys don't do their job, there's no way we get a chance to win in the 17th."

Wandy Rodriguez stood in line to get the win until the Houston bullpen blew it in the late innings. Rodriguez allowed three runs and seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, striking out eight.

"It was a matter of seeing who would last the longest, and they did," Byrdak said. "You just have to go out and make your pitches in those situations. The bottom line is they beat us."

Notes

  • Astros CF Michael Bourn is hitless in last 19 official at-bats. Bourn had a sacrifice bunt in the 16th, but he struck out three times.
  • Houston RHP Roy Oswalt is expected to throw off flat ground in Pittsburgh after having his strained left hip examined on Saturday in Houston.
  • Cox said INF/OF Omar Infante (hamstring), RHP Jeff Bennett (shoulder) and RHP Manny Acosta (hamstring) will go on the disabled list on Monday.
  • Cooper said that OF Reggie Abercrombie has been designated for assignment. RHP Chad Paronto will take his place on the 25-man roster.
 
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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The exhausted Braves are relieved after Mark Teixeira (right) finally ends the game in the 17th inning.  (AP)
The exhausted Braves are relieved after Mark Teixeira (right) finally ends the game in the 17th inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Atlanta

M. Teixeira
AB 7
R 0
H 3
HR 0
RBI 3
Houston

T. Wigginton
AB 8
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Houston Astros
Michael Bourn, CF7000032 .218
Mark Loretta, SS-2B8110011 .268
Hunter Pence, RF7130111 .265
Carlos Lee, LF8121012 .292
Darin Erstad, 1B4120110 .311
    Geoff Geary, P0000000 .000
   a- Reggie Abercrombie, PH1000010 .188
    J.R. Towles, C0000000 .148
Ty Wigginton, 3B8134004 .269
David Newhan, 2B4110001 .300
    Jose Valverde, P0000000 .000
    Miguel Tejada, SS2010201 .283
Brad Ausmus, C6011025 .211
    Dave Borkowski, P0000000 .000
   b- Lance Berkman, PH1000003 .349
    Tim Byrdak, P1000002 .200
Wandy Rodriguez, P3000011 .045
    Wesley Wright, P0000000 .000
    Doug Brocail, P0000000 .000
    Geoff Blum, 2B-1B3010100 .221
Totals636156511  
a-struck out for Geary in the 13th
b-flied out for Borkowski in the 15th
Batting
2B - David Newhan (2, Morton), Miguel Tejada (21, Carlyle)
HR - Ty Wigginton (7, Morton)
SH - Michael Bourn (4), J.R. Towles 2 (3)
RBI - Carlos Lee (67), Ty Wigginton 4 (20), Brad Ausmus (13)
2-OUT RBI - Carlos Lee (33), Ty Wigginton 4 (10), Brad Ausmus (4)
SB - Miguel Tejada (7, 2nd base off Carlyle/McCann)
CS - Hunter Pence (7, 2nd base by Morton/Miller)
Team LOB - 14
Houston Astros
Wandy Rodriguez 5.1733281 3.23
Wesley Wright (H,9) 1.1111130 5.23
Doug Brocail (H,17) 1122120 3.30
Jose Valverde (BS,5) 1.1100100 4.01
Geoff Geary 3100220 2.60
Dave Borkowski 2100110 5.76
Tim Byrdak (L,2-1) 2511320 1.74
IBB - Teixeira by Wandy Rodriguez
Pitches-Strikes - Wandy Rodriguez 107-67, Wesley Wright 30-18, Doug Brocail 24-14, Jose Valverde 26-15, Geoff Geary 41-26, Dave Borkowski 27-16, Tim Byrdak 47-23
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wandy Rodriguez 4-4, Wesley Wright 1-0, Doug Brocail 1-0, Jose Valverde 3-1, Geoff Geary 4-3, Tim Byrdak 3-1
Batters Faced - Wandy Rodriguez 25, Wesley Wright 6, Doug Brocail 5, Jose Valverde 6, Geoff Geary 12, Dave Borkowski 8, Tim Byrdak 14
Atlanta Braves
Gregor Blanco, CF-LF8220140 .270
Yunel Escobar, SS9042011 .294
Chipper Jones, 3B5332402 .388
Mark Teixeira, 1B7033212 .276
Omar Infante, LF1010000 .282
    Jason Perry, PR-RF7010027 .143
Martin Prado, 2B7120112 .255
Greg Norton, RF-LF4000143 .240
    Buddy Carlyle, P1010000 .200
    Manny Acosta, P2000012 .000
    Jair Jurrjens, PR0000000 .097
    Royce Ring, P0000000 .000
Corky Miller, C3000023 .093
   a- Kelly Johnson, PH0100100 .276
    Mike Gonzalez, P0000000 .000
   b- Mark Kotsay, PH-CF3000102 .273
Charles Morton, P2000002 .000
   c- Ruben Gotay, PH1000011 .208
    Blaine Boyer, P0000000 .000
    Will Ohman, P0000000 .000
   d- Brian McCann, PH-C5000015 .293
Totals6571771118  
a-walked for Miller in the 8th
b-flied out for Gonzalez in the 10th
c-struck out for Morton in the 6th
d-struck out for Ohman in the 8th
Batting
2B - Mark Teixeira (20, Wright), Omar Infante (7, Rodriguez)
3B - Chipper Jones (1, Rodriguez)
HR - Chipper Jones (18, Rodriguez)
RBI - Yunel Escobar 2 (32), Chipper Jones 2 (50), Mark Teixeira 3 (66)
2-OUT RBI - Yunel Escobar 2 (17), Chipper Jones (9), Mark Teixeira (27)
Team LOB - 21
Fielding
E - Martin Prado (4, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
Charles Morton 6866221 6.84
Blaine Boyer 1100010 4.34
Will Ohman 1100000 2.97
Mike Gonzalez 2000040 2.25
Buddy Carlyle 3200140 1.38
Manny Acosta 3200100 4.02
Royce Ring (W,2-1) 1100100 3.44
IBB - Blum by Buddy Carlyle, Tejada by Manny Acosta, Tejada by Royce Ring
WP - Buddy Carlyle (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Charles Morton 101-65, Blaine Boyer 23-15, Will Ohman 12-7, Mike Gonzalez 25-15, Buddy Carlyle 53-36, Manny Acosta 31-20, Royce Ring 14-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Charles Morton 10-5, Blaine Boyer 1-1, Will Ohman 2-1, Mike Gonzalez 1-1, Buddy Carlyle 3-2, Manny Acosta 4-6, Royce Ring 3-0
Batters Faced - Charles Morton 27, Blaine Boyer 4, Will Ohman 4, Mike Gonzalez 6, Buddy Carlyle 12, Manny Acosta 13, Royce Ring 5
Game Information
Attendance - 24169
Game Time - 5:35
Temperature - 70
Umpires - Home - Mike Everitt, First Base - Mike DiMuro, Second Base - Mike Estabrook, Third Base - Larry Vanover