ANAHEIM, Calif — Gregor Blanco was 3-for-4 with two RBI singles and the Atlanta Braves beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 on Friday night in their first meeting at the Big A.
Jeff Francoeur and Omar Infante had RBI doubles for Atlanta.
Braves third baseman Chipper Jones, who leads the majors with a .414 average, was scratched from the lineup after a freak accident during batting practice. He fouled off a pitch, and the ball ricocheted off the crossbar at the top of the batting cage and struck him just under his left eye.
The five-time All-Star suffered a contusion and was taken for a CT scan which was negative, according to a team spokesman.
Jo-Jo Reyes (3-4) allowed two runs and five hits over eight innings with five strikeouts and two walks. The left-hander retired 14 of his last 16 batters after the Angels took a 2-1 lead on Howie Kendrick’s two-out RBI double in the third.
Jeff Bennett pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save for the Braves, who came in a major league-worst 7-24 on the road.
Jon Garland (6-4) gave up five runs and 12 hits in 5 2-3 innings and struck out four. The right-hander was 3-0 with a 2.28 ERA over his previous seven starts.
The bottom of the Atlanta batting order regained the lead for the Braves in the fourth. Brandon Jones singled with two outs and scored on a double by Infante, who started at third base for the sixth time this season. Blanco, batting ninth, put Atlanta back in front 3-2 with an RBI single.
Seven of Atlanta’s hits against Garland came with two outs, including an RBI single in the second inning by Brandon Jones that opened the scoring.
The Angels tied it in the bottom half when Torii Hunter lined Reyes’ first pitch of the inning over the fence in left-center for his ninth home run.
Atlanta’s Bobby Cox managed against the Angels for the first time since July 14, 1985 with Toronto, when Brian Downing’s two-run walkoff homer with two outs in the ninth gave the Angels a 5-3 victory.