Heyward, Freeman lift Braves over Marlins

May. 31, 2014 @ 10:46 PM

Shae Simmons didn't think he would make his major league debut in a close game.

But the 23-year old reliever for the Atlanta Braves was ready nonetheless.

Simmons struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the eighth inning in a one-run game as the Braves went on to beat the Miami Marlins 9-5 on Saturday.

"I wasn't really thinking," Simmons said. "I thought I was done for the day and I'd just come tomorrow, but luckily I went in and threw strikes."

Veteran catcher Gerald Laird helped Simmons settle in with the Braves leading 6-5 with runners on first and second.

"I told him, 'Don't worry about calling your game. Let me call the game, just throw it where I call it,'" Laird said. "And he did a good job of that."

Simmons was one of six Braves relievers used to help Ervin Santana (5-2) win his first game since May 10 against the Cubs.

"I drank a whole bottle of coffee because I thought I felt like I was about to doze off out there (in the bullpen)," Simmons said. "Then all of the guys just started talking and said to treat it like any other day."

Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman each drove in a pair of runs to lead the Braves offense, which pounded out 12 hits.

"It was nice to add some runs up on the board," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Guys got some good at-bats."

Santana (5-2) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings. He struck out four.

Craig Kimbrel got the last two outs for his 15th save of the season, which tied him with John Smoltz for the most saves in franchise history with 154.

"I know if John would have done it his whole career he would have had a lot more," Kimbrel said. "It is nice to say I'm a part of something like that, but then again I've had a lot of opportunities and played on some good ball teams in the first three or four years. If it weren't for that case, we wouldn't be sitting here talking about this right now."

Derek Dietrich and Casey McGehee each drove in two runs and Christian Yelich had three hits for the Marlins as starter Jacob Turner (1-3) took the loss allowing five runs in five innings.

Six Miami pitchers combined to walk nine batters and three errors led to two unearned runs.

"We're walking way too many guys and then you cap that off with sloppy defense," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We're going up against the best teams in baseball. To go out there and compete we have to play better baseball."

Miami bench coach Rob Leary was ejected in the bottom of the eighth inning by home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott for arguing balls and strikes during an at-bat by Giancarlo Stanton with David Carpenter on the mound.

"Everybody was yelling in there," Redmond said. "They just picked Rob, the poor guy. I have to give him some money."

Immediately after the ejection Stanton singled and McGehee drove him home with a double to pull Miami within 6-4.

Two batters later Marcell Ozuna brought the Marlins within a run with a base hit. Carpenter exited without recording an out in the four batters he faced.

Simmons struck out slumping Jarrod Saltalamacchia to end the inning with runners on first and second. Saltalamacchia is 1 for his last 21.

METS 5, PHILLIES (14 innings)

PHILADELPHIA — David Wright had an RBI single with two outs in the 14th inning, leading the New York Mets to a 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in the second straight marathon game between the teams.

New York needed 5 hours, 32 minutes to win this one after losing to the Phillies 6-5 in a 14-inning game Friday night that took 5:23 to complete.

The Phillies and Mets have played 37 innings in three games with two more still to play in the rare five-game series.

Buddy Carlyle (1-0), who was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game as an emergency arm after the Mets used eight pitchers on Friday. He tossed three scoreless innings to earn his first big league win since June 25, 2008.

The Mets went without a hit in extra innings until Wright's knock off Antonio Bastardo (3-3). Bastardo walked Ruben Tejada to start the 14th, and Tejada went to second on Juan Lagares' sacrifice bunt. After Daniel Murphy popped out, Wright lined a single to left to score Tejada.

CUBS 8, BREWERS 0

MILWAUKEE — Anthony Rizzo hit two two-run homers and Jason Hammel tossed seven strong innings, lifting the Cubs over the Brewers.

Both of Rizzo's homers came on full-count pitches and went deep to right, the second one into the second deck to give the Cubs a four-run lead in the sixth.

It was more than enough support for Hammel (6-3), who frustrated the Brewers by mixing a fastball in the low 90s with a tough slider. He allowed just four hits while striking out a season-high eight to help Chicago snap a three-game losing streak.

The Cubs chased Brewers starter Wily Peralta (4-5) in the five-run sixth that started with a single from Hammel, who later scored on Rizzo's homer.

CARDINALS 2, GIANTS 0

ST. LOUIS — Michael Wacha worked six innings of three-hit ball in his fifth rain-delayed start of the season and Oscar Taveras homered in his second career at-bat for the Cardinals in a victory over the Giants.

Yusmeiro Petit (3-3) gave up two hits in six innings for the Giants, but one of them was Taveras' 418-foot drive in the fifth. Petit subbed for injured Matt Cain, placed on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring injury, for the second straight start.

The Cardinals have piled up 6 hours, 30 minutes of idle time in Wacha's starts, with delays of 51 and 47 minutes Saturday. The total includes a 61-minute weather delay before the first pitch against the Yankees his last start for a storm that failed to materialize, and the Cardinals lost in 12 innings.

INTERLEAGUE

NATIONALS 10, RANGERS 2

WASHINGTON — Anthony Rendon went 4 for 5 and hit one of four Washington home runs, and Doug Fister allowed four hits in six innings as the Nationals routed the Rangers.

Adam LaRoche, Jose Lobaton, and pinch-hitter Scott Hairston also homered in Washington's offensive surge.

The Nationals have racked up 24 runs and 42 hits in their last three games, winning two straight to climb back to .500.

Rendon had six straight hits over two games before striking out in the ninth.

Fister (3-1) allowed two runs and retired the first 10 Texas batters. He's 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in his last four starts, with 21 strikeouts and two walks.

Rangers starter Nick Tepesch (2-1) allowed five runs, four earned, on seven hits. He had won two straight decisions, but didn't make it past the second inning Saturday.

YANKEES 3, TWINS 1

NEW YORK — Masahiro Tanaka shut down Joe Mauer and the other Minnesota hitters while lowering his AL-leading ERA to 2.06, and Brian McCann lined a go-ahead double in the eighth inning Saturday that sent the New York Yankees over the Twins 3-1.

Tanaka (8-1) permitted only an unearned run in eight innings. The heralded rookie from Japan gave up four singles, just two leaving the infield.

Tanaka walked two and bounced two wild pitches. But he was especially sharp against Mauer, the three-time AL batting champion.

Mauer, who faced Tanaka in spring training, struck out on three pitches in the first inning with a runner on third. Mauer fanned on four pitches with runners on second and third in the third, then tapped into a double play and later grounded out.

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira left in the sixth because of soreness in his surgically repaired right wrist, the same problem that forced him to miss three games this week.

ORIOLES 4, ASTROS 1

HOUSTON — Nelson Cruz hit his major league-leading 20th home run and drove in three runs to back a solid start by Chris Tillman, and the Orioles snapped a four-game skid with a win over the Astros.

The loss ends a season-best seven-game winning streak for the Astros.

Tillman (5-2) allowed one run on four hits over 6 2-3 innings to bounce back after allowing 14 runs combined in his last two starts. Zach Britton pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

The Orioles took the lead when Dallas Keuchel (6-3) walked home two runs in the fifth and Cruz extended the lead to 4-1 with his solo shot to left-center off Jerome Williams in the eighth.

Cruz's 52 RBIs lead the majors and are the most in team history at the end of May, surpassing the 50 RBIs Chris Davis had entering June last year.

BLUE JAYS 12, ROYALS 2

TORONTO — Juan Francisco had three hits and four RBIs, Marcus Stroman won his first career start and the Blue Jays used a seven-run first inning to rout the Royals.

Adam Lind went 3 for 5 with three RBIs as the AL East-leading Blue Jays snapped a two-game losing streak and finished May with a record of 21-9. Toronto has won 15 of its past 19.

Stroman (2-0) allowed one run and five hits in six innings. The right-hander walked none and struck out six.

Todd Redmond worked the final three innings for his first save.

The Blue Jays gave Stroman all the support he would need with a 12-batter first inning against Royals right-hander Aaron Brooks, who was also making his first career start. Toronto set a team record when the first eight batters reached safely against Brooks. The Blue Jays had seven straight reach safely to begin a win over Baltimore on Sept. 15, 2007.

INTERLEAGUE

INDIANS 7, ROCKIES 6

CLEVELAND — Mike Aviles hit a three-run homer in the second and added the go-ahead single in the eighth inning to help the Indians beat the Rockies.

Pinch-hitter Jason Kipnis started the rally with a leadoff walk off Rex Brothers (2-3). After Lonnie Chisenhall's sacrifice, Aviles lined a hit to right field and Kipnis slid home ahead of Charlie Blackmon's throw. Chisenhall had a two-run homer in the sixth.

The Indians handed their bullpen a 6-2 lead through six innings, but Corey Dickerson's solo homer and Blackmon's three-run shot tied it in the seventh.

Bryan Shaw (2-1) pitched 1 2-3 scoreless innings. Cody Allen worked the ninth for his third save as the Rockies fell to 2-6 on their nine-game trip.

PADRES 4, WHITE SOX 2

CHICAGO — Will Venable had a season-high four hits and drove in two runs to help the Padres beat the White Sox.

Tyson Ross (6-4) limited the White Sox to two runs — one earned — on five hits in six innings, and Huston Street remained perfect in 17 save chances this season.

San Diego improved to 20-4 this season when scoring four or more runs.

In the third series between the two teams — and the first since 2005 — the Padres had the leadoff hitter reach base in seven of the nine innings. The White Sox managed only one base runner in the final four innings.

White Sox starting pitcher Andre Rienzo (4-2) struggled to keep the Padres off base and consistently ran into trouble. Rienzo lasted only 3 1-3 innings, surrendering three runs on seven hits.