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Braves bash Diamondbacks for third straight win

POSTED: August 14, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The Associated Press/

Atlanta Braves' Brian McCann rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning Saturday in Phoenix. In the background is the Diamondbacks' Stephen Drew.

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PHOENIX — A difficult loss proved even more costly for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Second baseman Orlando Hudson broke his left wrist trying to tag Brian McCann during the sixth inning of the Atlanta Braves' 11-4 win Saturday night and could miss the rest of the season.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin said Hudson will be re-evaluated on Sunday and a decision will be made about whether he needs surgery.

"If he has the surgery he's out the rest of the year," Melvin said. "If he doesn't, there's still a chance he could be out the rest of the year. It's a blow."

Hudson tore ligaments in the same wrist last September and missed the Diamondbacks' final 21 regular-season games and the playoffs.

"We all feel for him," Melvin said. "He's a guy who goes out there every day, gives you 100 percent every day and is one of the leaders of this team emotionally and on the field. It's very disappointing for him and us."

Hudson was attempting to tag out Brian McCann on a wild play in the middle of the Braves' seven-run sixth inning.

"He went for the ball and didn't see me and his hand went into my stomach," McCann said. "You could tell right away something was wrong."

McCann hit his team-leading 21st home run and drove in four runs, two coming in the sixth inning, moments before Hudson's injury.

Mark Kotsay was 3-for-5 with a double and Jair Jurrjens allowed seven hits over six innings for the Braves, who have won four of their last five including the first three of four games in Arizona.

Jurrjens (11-7) allowed four runs — three earned — with two walks and six strikeouts to snap a personal two-game losing streak.

Stephen Drew went 2-for-5 with a double and a triple for the Diamondbacks, who have dropped four straight, their worst streak in two months.

The Diamondbacks took a 3-2 lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth. But everything unraveled in the sixth when Atlanta scored seven runs on five hits, a walk, a hit batter and three errors.

Omar Infante reached safely on an infield single against Dan Haren, Mark Kotsay doubled and Kelly Johnson hit a double just inside the first-base bag and into right field to score two and put Atlanta back ahead 4-3.

Haren (12-6) also surrendered a bloop single to Jurrjens before he was pulled in favor of reliever Juan Cruz. Cruz walked Gregor Blanco and hit Yunel Escobar in the forearm with the bases loaded, scoring Johnson to make it 5-3.

Cruz struck out Chipper Jones before McCann hit a two-run single off Mark Reynolds' glove and into left field. Reynolds threw wildly back to Stephen Drew at the third-base bag as Escobar slid in from second for an error, and McCann took off for second. Cruz fielded Reynolds' throw home and then threw wildly to second trying to stop McCann from advancing, leading to Hudson's injury and allowing Escobar to score to make it 8-3.

Atlanta wasn't finished. Cruz made his second error of the inning, throwing the ball into foul territory in left as McCann stole third and trotted home for a 9-3 Braves lead.

Haren went 5 2-3 innings, his shortest outing since April 23, and allowed five runs and a season-worst ten hits with three walks and five strikeouts.

"I made a mistake in the first that put us in a hole and then battled the entire night," Haren said. "I caught a couple of tough breaks there in the sixth and couldn't hold the lead."

McCann's first-inning homer gave Atlanta a 2-0 lead four batters into the game. The Diamondbacks answered with one in the fourth and two in the fifth on RBI grounders by Alex Romero and Conor Jackson and a Chad Tracy sacrifice fly.

"He's one of the best pitchers in the game," McCann said of Haren. "Anytime you can get to them early, that's how you beat those guys."

Tony Clark added an RBI single in the sixth for Arizona and the Braves scored two runs, one earned, off Tony Pena in the eighth.

Notes: The Diamondbacks lost a season-high five games May 26 through 30 against Atlanta, San Francisco and Washington. ... McCann's home run was his first since hitting two July 25 at Philadelphia, also with Jurrjens on the mound. ... Haren's streak of 24 1-3 innings without issuing a walk ended when Blanco walked on eight pitches to begin the game. ... Haren had not allowed more than nine hits in a game since giving up 10 in eight innings September 17 against Seattle while pitching for Oakland.


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