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Los Angeles at Atlanta

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Los Angeles (37-31)0120000003121
Atlanta (36-32) «00000421x7121

La Stella stays hot, Braves rally past Angels to win series

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez says Tommy La Stella is playing as if he is looking for another promotion. That's how comfortable the rookie second baseman has looked in his first three weeks in the major leagues.

La Stella had three hits, including a two-run double in Atlanta's four-run sixth, and the Braves beat Hector Santiago and the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Sunday night.

La Stella is hitting .411 with at least two hits in nine of his 16 games.

"I think La Stella thinks there's another league, the way he carries himself," Gonzalez said. "So it doesn't surprise me that he feels this comfortable right away."

La Stella has put a lock on the second base job with strong defense and his impressive start at the plate.

"I wouldn't say surprised," La Stella said when asked about his continued strong hitting. "Anytime you have a shot, especially in the big leagues, you want to start off on the right foot. I've been able to do that and hopefully I can keep going."

Evan Gattis and Justin Upton also had run-scoring singles in the sixth as the Braves rallied against Santiago (0-7). Jason Heyward homered in the seventh and made two strong defensive plays in right field to take hits away from Mike Trout.

Trout had three hits, including a home run. Erick Aybar also hit a home run for the Angels before leaving the game with a sore left hip.

Manager Mike Scioscia said he hopes Aybar can play Monday. He said Aybar first hurt his hip in Saturday night's game.

Anthony Vavaro (2-1) had three strikeouts in two perfect innings for the win.

The Braves moved back into first place in the NL East by winning two of three from the Angels, who remain in second in the AL West.

David Carpenter gave up a single to Trout before hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch with one out in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel struck out Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick for his 20th save.

Santiago, trying for his first victory of 2014, allowed only two hits through five innings before fading in the sixth. He was charged with four runs and five hits in 5 1/3 innings.

"Hector, really, for five innings was really on top of things," Scioscia said. "Things unraveled a bit but I still think Hector pitched a really strong ballgame."

Atlanta's Mike Minor matched his career high by allowing 11 hits for the second straight game. He gave up three runs in five innings.

With one out in the sixth, B.J. Upton walked and moved to third on Freddie Freeman's single to center. Gattis extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a run-scoring single to right field. Freeman scored on Justin Upton's infield hit that David Freese couldn't handle at third base.

Chris Johnson's single off Kevin Jepsen loaded the bases to set up La Stella's double to right-center. Johnson was thrown out at the plate.

Aybar hit his fifth homer leading off the second. He reached on a fielder's choice grounder in the third before being removed from the game in the bottom of the inning. John McDonald took over at shortstop.

Trout raced in to make a tumbling catch of B.J. Upton's sinking liner to end the third inning.

Heyward took a hit away from Trout with a similar catch in the fourth. Heyward again denied Trout of a hit in the sixth. Sprinting toward the wall, Heyward jumped and reached up at the warning track to catch a long fly ball before running into the wall.

"If Jason doesn't make those plays, we might lose the game," Gonzalez said.

Heyward hit his eighth home run off Cam Bedrosian. B.J. Upton singled, stole second and scored from third on Bedrosian's wild pitch.

Notes

The Angels placed RHP Fernando Salas on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. Salas pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win in Saturday night's 11-6 victory over the Braves in 13 innings. RHP Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake and pitched the eighth. ... Trout had seven hits, including two homers, and drove in five runs in the three-game series. ... The Braves signed OF Braxton Davidson, the team's first-round pick from Arden, North Carolina. ... The Braves open a three-game home series against Philadelphia on Monday night when RHP Julio Teheran faces Phillies LHP Cole Hamels. The Angels open a four-game series at Cleveland with RHP Jered Weaver matched against Indians RHP Trevor Bauer.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Jason Heyward makes a superb catch of a Mike Trout drive in the sixth. Heyward belts a home run an inning later.  (Getty Images)
Jason Heyward makes a superb catch of a Mike Trout drive in the sixth. Heyward belts a home run an inning later. (Getty Images)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Trout
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 1
Atlanta

T. La Stella
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 2
 
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Collin Cowgill, RF4000032 .289
   a-Kole Calhoun, PH1000010 .258
Mike Trout, CF5131001 .305
Albert Pujols, 1B4120011 .258
Josh Hamilton, LF4020112 .351
Howie Kendrick, 2B5011027 .269
Erick Aybar, SS2111001 .290
   John McDonald, SS2010010 .250
David Freese, 3B4000031 .218
Hank Conger, C4010003 .250
Hector Santiago, P3010012 .333
   Kevin Jepsen, P0000000 .000
   Cam Bedrosian, P0000000 .000
   Cory Rasmus, P0000000 .000
   b-Raul Ibanez, PH1000010 .146
   Dane De La Rosa, P0000000 .000
Totals393123114  
a-struck out for Cowgill in the 9th
b-struck out for Rasmus in the 8th
Batting
HR - Mike Trout (14, Minor), Erick Aybar (5, Minor)
RBI - Mike Trout (50), Howie Kendrick (26), Erick Aybar (37)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Collin Cowgill 1
E - Josh Hamilton (3, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles (A.L.) Angels
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Hector Santiago (L,0-7) 5.1544240 4.44
Kevin Jepsen (BS,1) 0.2200000 2.96
Cam Bedrosian 0.2322011 10.13
Cory Rasmus 0.1000000 4.32
Dane De La Rosa 1211100 20.25
IBB - Heyward by Dane De La Rosa
WP - Cam Bedrosian (1), Dane De La Rosa (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Hector Santiago 94-62, Kevin Jepsen 11-7, Cam Bedrosian 23-14, Cory Rasmus 4-3, Dane De La Rosa 15-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hector Santiago 3-9, Kevin Jepsen 1-0, Cam Bedrosian 1-0, Dane De La Rosa 1-2
Batters Faced - Hector Santiago 23, Kevin Jepsen 3, Cam Bedrosian 5, Cory Rasmus 1, Dane De La Rosa 6
Atlanta Braves
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jason Heyward, RF4111100 .255
B.J. Upton, CF4210112 .210
Freddie Freeman, 1B4120001 .275
Evan Gattis, C4121001 .297
Justin Upton, LF4111021 .280
Chris Johnson, 3B4020000 .270
Tommy La Stella, 2B3132100 .411
   Ramiro Pena, 2B0000000 .215
Andrelton Simmons, SS4000005 .252
Mike Minor, P1000010 .167
   a-Dan Uggla, PH1000001 .165
   Anthony Varvaro, P0000000 .000
   b-Jordan Schafer, PH1000010 .208
   Jordan Walden, P0000000 .000
   c-Ryan Doumit, PH0001000 .203
   David Carpenter, P0000000 .000
   Craig Kimbrel, P0000000 .000
Totals34712635  
a-grounded out for Minor in the 5th
b-struck out for Varvaro in the 7th
c-hit a sacrifice fly for Walden in the 8th
Batting
2B - Freddie Freeman (18, Santiago), Tommy La Stella (2, Jepsen)
HR - Jason Heyward (8, Bedrosian)
SF - Ryan Doumit (1)
RBI - Jason Heyward (26), Evan Gattis (36), Justin Upton (37), Tommy La Stella 2 (6), Ryan Doumit (8)
SB - B.J. Upton (11, 2nd base off Bedrosian/Conger)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jason Heyward 1
E - Andrelton Simmons (3, Misplayed grounder)
Atlanta Braves
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Mike Minor 51133162 4.42
Anthony Varvaro (W,2-1) 2000030 2.88
Jordan Walden (H,4) 1000020 4.11
David Carpenter 0.1100010 4.39
Craig Kimbrel (S,20) 0.2000020 1.98
HBP - Pujols (by David Carpenter)
Pitches-Strikes - Mike Minor 103-63, Anthony Varvaro 30-24, Jordan Walden 21-14, David Carpenter 12-7, Craig Kimbrel 10-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Mike Minor 5-4, Anthony Varvaro 1-2
Batters Faced - Mike Minor 27, Anthony Varvaro 6, Jordan Walden 3, David Carpenter 3, Craig Kimbrel 2
Game Information
Attendance - 29320
Game Time - 3:31
Temperature - 81
Umpires - Home - Angel Campos, First Base - Tony Randazzo, Second Base - David Rackley, Third Base - Brian Gorman