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Braves and Rockies hold on in tense finishes

April 26, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta maintained its early-season advantage atop the National League East division with a 5-4 win over Cincinnnati on Friday, thanks chiefly to Justin Upton’s three-run homer.

Elsewhere, Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon came through with an 11th inning hit to give the Rockies victory at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington routed San Diego but lost Bryce Harper to injury, and majors-leading Milwaukee improved to 17-6 with victory over the Chicago Cubs.

Atlanta hung on in a tense finish against Cincinnati. Braves pitcher Craig Kimbrel gave up a leadoff single then a walk to open the ninth inning before producing two strikeouts and then the game ended on a disputed call.

The throw to first base for the out was a little wide and Freddie Freeman had to lean out a long way to take it. The initial call was out but Reds manager Bryan Price challenged it, believing Freeman’s foot had come off the bag, but replays confirmed the out.

Atlanta starter Ervin Santana (3-0) led 5-0 through five innings before allowing two runs in the sixth and two more in the seventh.

Colorado also prevailed in a close finish against the Dodgers, winning 5-4.

In the 11th, drizzle had developed into a downpour. Brandon Barnes came in to pinch-hit with one out in the 11th and doubled off Jamey Wright (1-1), and Blackmon came up with the RBI single that won it.

The Rockies earlier got home runs from Troy Tulowitzki and Corey Dickerson.

There was no such suspense at Washington, where the Nationals cruised past San Diego 11-1.

Bryce Harper drove in a career-high four runs with an infield single in the first and a bases-loaded triple in the third but he hurt his left wrist diving to the base on that triple and was replaced in the fifth.

Washington starter Stephen Strasburg (2-2) pitched seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts.

Milwaukee’s Matt Garza pitched seven strong innings to guide the Brewers to a 5-2 win over the Cubs.

Garza (1-2), who pitched part of last season with the Cubs, retired Chicago’s batters in order in four of the first six innings. He gave up four hits while striking out seven and walking one.

Lyle Overbay hit his first homer for the Brewers.

San Francisco was guided to a 5-1 win over Cleveland by another stellar outing by Tim Hudson.

Hudson (3-1) went through seven impressive innings, but his streak of 30 innings without issuing a walk ended, giving up two.

Michael Morse homered for the Giants, who won in their first interleague game of the season after going just 6-14 against the American League in 2013.

Los Angeles’ Albert Pujols hit one of the Angels’ four home runs in a 13-1 thrashing of the New York Yankees.

Pujols hit homer No. 501 of his career and Ian Stewart had a two-run shot off Hiroki Kuroda (2-2) for the majors’ top slugging squad. Erick Aybar connected for a three-run drive and Colin Cowgill went deep against Bruce Billings.

C.J. Wilson (3-2) gave up one run in six innings; the seventh time in eight starts he’s held the Yankees to two or fewer earned runs.

While the Yankees suffered a heavy defeat, their city rivals the Mets had a 4-3 win over Miami, with slumping Curtis Granderson grounding in an RBI single to cap an improbable two-run rally with two outs in the ninth inning.

After Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Garrett Jones hit back-to-back home runs in the eighth that put the Marlins ahead 3-2, the Mets stung Marlins closer Steve Cishek (1-1).

Lucas Duda led off the ninth with a single and moved up to second on a sacrifice. After a second out, Omar Quintanilla followed with a single down the line to score Duda and Granderson then drove in the winner.

Detroit’s Nick Castellanos homered and drove in three runs to power the Tigers to a 10-6 win over Minnesota.

Torii Hunter had two doubles and two RBIs for the Tigers, who broke the game open with seven runs in the third inning.

Tigers’ starter Rick Porcello (3-1) gave up four runs in five-plus innings in a mediocre performance but took the win.

Seattle’s Justin Smoak hit a go-ahead double in the eighth inning and secured the win with a diving catch in the ninth, leading the Mariners past Texas 6-5.

St. Louis’ Shelby Miller ended his poor personal record against Pittsburgh by pitching 5 2-3 scoreless innings to lead the Cardinals to a 1-0 win over the Pirates.

Chicago’s Jose Abreu hit a game-winning grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning, providing a storybook finish for the White Sox as they beat Tampa Bay 9-6.

Boston’s David Ortiz homered in an 8-1 win over Toronto, with the Red Sox reaching season highs with 16 hits and eight extra-base hits.

Kansas City cruised to a 5-0 win over Baltimore, with Yordano Ventura pitching eight scoreless innings with a career-high eight strikeouts in his seventh major-league start.

Oakland’s Daric Barton and Josh Donaldson had two RBIs apiece in a seven-run ninth inning which lifted the Athletics to a 12-5 win at Houston.

Arizona won a third-straight game for the first time this season, with Josh Collmenter’s six scoreless innings helping the Diamondbacks beat Philadelphia 5-4.


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