Cubs-Braves: Atlanta Completes Five-Run Comeback to Win in 12

James HulkaAnalyst IJune 3, 2009

(AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Chipper Jones got the first hit of the night for the Braves in the bottom of the seventh, and the last one in the bottom of the 12th, as Atlanta beat Chicago in an extra-inning walk-off stunner by the score of 6-5.

Cubs starter Randy Wells handled the Braves through the first six innings until Jones lined an opposite-field single over the head of third baseman Mke Fontenot.

Wells helped his cause at the plate with an RBI single in the second inning to plate the Cubs second run after a Chipper Jones error extended the inning.

The Cubs got two runs in the sixth on a Derrek Lee RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Mike Fontenot.

Kenshin Kawakami pitched pretty well, going seven innings and allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits and one walk. The first of the hits was a solo home run by Alfonso Soriano leading off the game.

Derrek Lee added a solo shot in the eighth extending the Cubs lead to 5-0 off reliever Manny Acosta. 

Wells came out to start the bottom of the eighth with a 5-0 lead and only having surrendered one hit. However, Garret Anderson lined a solo home run before Martin Prado reached on an error by Derrek Lee to chase Wells after seven-plus innings and only 83 pitches.

Carlos Marmol's control problems gave the Braves a run after a walk to Jeff Francoeur, hitting pinch-hitter Greg Norton, and walking Kelly Johnson with the bases loaded. Yunel Escobar plated the Braves third run of the inning, as his sacrifice fly scored Francoeur from third to close the gap to 5-3.

Wildness ensued in the bottom of the ninth as Garret Anderson reached when Geovany Soto couldn't handle the strike-three pitch from closer Kevin Gregg. One out later, Jeff Francoeur blasted a 2-1 fastball deep into left center to tie the game at five and send it to extra innings.

Each team had runners on and chances to score in the 10th and 11th innings. The Braves had runners on third with two outs in both innings but were unable to push across the winning run.

After Rafael Soriano went through a comparatively quiet 12th, with Kosuke Fukudome's two-out walk being the only batter to reach, the Braves brought the top of the order up in the bottom of the 12th.

Yunel Escobar singled with one out, and stole second with two strikes on Chipper Jones. Electing not to walk Jones with first base open, Cubs reliever Aaron Heilman pitched to Chipper.

Jones' second hit of the night, this one on a full count, was a mirror image of the first. The opposite-field line drive over the head of Fontenot fell onto the grass in left and didn't draw a throw from left fielder Alfonso Soriano, as Escobar slid feet-first across home plate for the final run.

Before the game, Atlanta sent down CF Jordan Schafer to AAA Gwinnett after his average had dropped to .203, and he'd gone almost a month since his last multi-hit game.

The recently hot bat of Gregor Blanco was not so hot as he went 0-for-5 in his first game in the majors this season, striking out twice as the No. 8 hitter in the Braves lineup

Wednesday night, Ted Lilly (6-4, 3.50) faces Derek Lowe (6-3, 3.49). Thursday night's series finale is scheduled to be Carlos Zambrano (3-2, 4.22) against Jair Jurrjens (5-2, 2.59). However, this may change as it was reported after the game that Zambrano missed the team's flight to Atlanta on Monday.

The win by the Braves was the first over the Cubs since June 10, 2007, when Ted Lilly got ejected for hitting Edgar Renteria in the first inning, and Ryan Dempster gave up three runs in the eighth—Willie Harris scored on a wild pitch—as the Braves rallied for a 5-4 win with Chad Paronto getting the victory and Bob Wickman the save.