Jason Heyward homered and made two highlight catches as the
Braves came from behind for a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles
Angels on Sunday night before a crowd of 29,320 at Turner Field.
Rookie second baseman Tommy La Stella, who had three hits, capped a
lead-changing sixth inning with a two-run double off Angels starter
Hector Santiago (0-7). Heyward hit his eighth homer of the season in
"You want to start off in the big leagues on the right foot, and
I've been able to do that," said La Stella, who has nine multi-hit
games out in 16 major league games since being promoted from
Triple-A Gwinnett. He is batting .411.
A second victory in the three-game series gave the Braves (36-32) a
one-game lead over the Washington Nationals and the Miami Marlins in
the National League East. The Angels (37-31) fell 4 1/2 games behind
the Oakland A's in the American League West.
Mike Trout hit a homer and three singles for the Angels, but he
might have had five hits if not for Heyward. The Braves right
fielder made a diving catch to rob the Angels center fielder, and he
also raced back to the fence to snare for another drive.
"If Jason didn't make those two plays, we might lose the game,"
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Trout finished 7-for-14 in the series with two doubles, two homers
and five RBIs. He also made a diving catch Sunday.
"I'm a fan," said Gonzalez, relieved not to have to play against
After getting just one runner to second base through five innings,
the Braves finally broke through against Santiago in the sixth. The
left-hander gave up a walk and three consecutive singles after one
out, with hits by catcher Evan Gattis and left fielder Justin Upton
driving in runs.
Reliever Kevin Jepsen then gave up a two-run double to La Stella as
the Braves took a 4-3 lead.
Santiago, who pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision Tuesday
against Oakland, was charged with the four runs. He gave up five
hits, walked two and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings.
"Luck turned their way," said Santiago, feeling he was still making
good pitches. "The better pitches I made, the luckier they got."
Cam Bedrosian gave up Heyward's homer on a 1-1 changeup and threw a
wild pitch a allow another run in the seventh. Angels reliever Dane
De La Rosa surrendered a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by
pinch hitter Ryan Doumit.
Anthony Varvaro (2-1) got credit for the victory, striking three
over perfect sixth and seventh innings. Jordan Walden retired the
Angels in order in the eighth with two strikeouts. In the ninth,
after David Carpenter gave up a one-out single to Trout and hit
first baseman Albert Pujols with a pitch, closer Craig Kimbrel
recorded two consecutive strikeouts for his 20th save in 23 chances.
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Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, who later left the game due to a sore
left hip, picked on a grooved 2-0 fastball from Braves left-hander
Mike Minor and lined his fifth homer of the season into the left
field seats leading off the second inning.
Trout, who has an 18-game interleague hitting streak, took advantage
of a hanging 1-1 breaking ball to lead off the third inning with a
no-doubt blast to left field for his 14th long ball of the season.
The homers were the eighth and ninth allowed by Minor in nine starts
this year. The Angels added a second third-inning run on an RBI
single by second baseman Howie Kendrick to go up 3-0.
Minor allowed 11 hits and three runs while laboring through five
innings after giving up 11 hits and eight runs over four innings in
a loss at Colorado last Tuesday. The left-hander struck out six and
walked one as the Angels left nine runners on base against him.
"When I saw the 11 hits, I thought I'd pitched better than that,"
Minor said. "I guess I was lucky to hang in there and give up just
NOTES: Angels RHP Fernando Salas, who pitched two scoreless innings
to get the victory in Saturday night's 13-inning game, was placed on
the 15-day disabled list because of nerve irritation in his arm. RHP
Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. De La Rosa
pitched once for Los Angeles in April before going on the disabled
list because of a forearm strain and a shoulder impingement. ...
Manager Mike Scioscia rejoined the Angels after missing Saturday's
game to attend the funeral of former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate
Bob Welch in Arizona. ... Bench coach Dino Ebel filled in for
Scioscia on Saturday, and he is 3-0 at the helm this season. ... The
weekend interleague series was just the second for the Angels in
Atlanta. They took two of three games in 2005. ... The Angels begin
a four-game series against the Indians in Cleveland on Monday night,
while the Braves open a three-game home series against the
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