Slumping La Stella gets his groove back in sweep
by Aaron Bracy
Associated Press Sports Writer
June 29, 2014 04:06 AM | 1368 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Braves’ pitchers took advantage of Tommy La Stella’s offense, with Walker grad David Hale, above, winning a spot start in Saturday’s Game 2.
<Br>Associated Press photo
The Braves’ pitchers took advantage of Tommy La Stella’s offense, with Walker grad David Hale, above, winning a spot start in Saturday’s Game 2.
Associated Press photo
slideshow
PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Doumit homered and Tommy La Stella had two doubles and drove in a pair of runs to lead the Atlanta Braves to a doubleheader sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 5-1 victory in the nightcap Saturday.

La Stella hit a three-run triple in Atlanta’s 10-3 win in the opener. He came into the doubleheader with just two hits in his last 30 at-bats.

Chris Johnson had three hits with an RBI and Justin Upton had two hits and drove in a run for the Braves, who have won five of six. Atlanta finished with 13 hits in the nightcap and had a combined 15 runs and 20 hits on the day.

Cameron Rupp had two hits with a double for the slumping Phillies, who have lost seven of nine. Philadelphia totaled four runs in the two games and now have scored three runs or less 41 times, dropping to 7-34 in those contests. The Phillies also fell to 18-26 at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park, where they entered Saturday batting .229 as a team.

Former Walker School standout David Hale (3-2) made his first start since being moved to the bullpen April 30 and allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and a walk in five innings. Anthony Varvaro, Jordan Walden and Gus Schlosser combined to pitch four scoreless innings of relief.

The four pitchers limited Philadelphia to six hits.

The Phillies called up Sean O’Sullivan (0-1) from Triple-A Lehigh Valley for a spot start and the right-hander lasted 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits with three strikeouts. O’Sullivan, who has had stints with the Angels, Royals and Padres, made his 38th big league career start.

Upton’s RBI single in the first staked Atlanta to a 1-0 lead. The Phillies tied it in the third on Jimmy Rollins’ sacrifice fly before the Braves used a three-run sixth to take the lead for good.

O’Sullivan retired the first two batters before three straight singles, the last, a run-scoring base hit to right field by Johnson, ended his night. Left-hander Mario Hollands relieved O’Sullivan and surrendered a two-run double to La Stella that gave the Braves a three-run lead.

The Phillies got a chance in the sixth when a leadoff single by Sprayberry High School product Marlon Byrd and an error by second baseman La Stella on Ryan Howard’s grounder put runners on first and second with no outs against Varvaro.

However, unlike in the opener when two straight Howard errors in the fourth inning led to a pair of pivotal, game-tying runs, Philadelphia couldn’t take advantage of Atlanta’s miscue. John Mayberry Jr. popped out and Cody Asche and Cesar Hernandez flew out to left.

Philadelphia couldn’t score in the seventh with a man on third and one out, as Ben Revere and Rollins popped out.

Ervin Santana (6-5) snapped a four-game winless streak in the opener, allowing two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk in 6 2/3 innings.

Santana had lost his last three starts with a 5.89 ERA in those outings. But he was strong after the first two innings, retiring nine straight during one stretch and surrendering just three hits after the second inning.

Howard made two costly errors in the fourth inning, resulting in two unearned runs that allowed the Braves to tie the game at 2. Freddie Freeman’s hard-hit grounder went through Howard’s legs and the error put runners on second and third. The next batter, Upton, hit a medium grounder to first but reached safely when Howard bobbled and then lost control of the ball.

Simmons scored on that error and Freeman, who went to third on the play, then reached on Jason Heyward’s groundout to first. Fans gave a sarcastic cheer when Howard made the putout.

Atlanta then went ahead in the sixth on Upton’s two-run double off the wall in left.

Roberto Hernandez (3-7) didn’t allow a hit through 3 1/3 innings and ended up giving up just three hits in seven innings with two strikeouts and three walks. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned.

NOTES: Evan Gattis was out of the lineup for the second straight game. The Braves catcher left due to back spasms after striking out swing in the first inning of Friday’s game. Christian Bethancourt was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before the game. Bethancourt hit an infield single in the sixth for his first major-league hit. To make room for Bethancourt, the Braves sent right-hander Juan Jaime to Triple-A. ... Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason, in town for the NHL draft at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday and Saturday, was in attendance for the opener Saturday. ... The teams will conclude their four-game series this afternoon with Atlanta RHP Aaron Harang (6-6, 3.78) facing Philadelphia RHP David Buchanan (4-3, 4.79).
Comments
(0)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
No Comments Yet
*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides