Braves 3, Padres 2
ATLANTA (AP)—Andruw Jones has been through too many slumps to let an 0-for-21 skid send him into a panic.
Jones’ sixth-inning double gave Atlanta its first run and his eighth-inning single drove in the go-ahead run, and the Braves beat the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Tuesday night.
“A slump is a slump … these things happen,” Jones said. “I’ve been 0-for-20, 0-for-30. I think I had an 0-for-40 once. I’m not worried. When the season is over, I still will be where I want to be.”
Jones began the night hitting .220 but he was still the cleanup hitter in manager Bobby Cox’s lineup. Cox’s patience was rewarded as Jones went 2-for-3 with two RBIs.
Bell issued an intentional walk to Chipper Jones. Andruw Jones followed with a rare opposite-field single to give Atlanta a 3-2 lead. Instead of pulling the ball, Jones’ single landed in right-center.
“(Bell) just left the ball up … and I hit it that way,” Jones said. “He was throwing me too many curveballs and I finally got one to hit.”
Bell’s ERA rose from 0.44 to 1.29 as he was charged with two runs. Before Tuesday night, Bell had given up only seven hits and one run in 20 2-3 innings.
“I was bound to give up a couple of hits and runs,” Bell said. “I hadn’t done that in a while. … My curve was pretty flat and they found holes.”
Both were called up from Triple A for the game, and each may have earned another start.
Germano, filling in for the injured Clay Hensley, gave up three hits, one walk and one run in six innings.
“I thought Justin did a tremendous job,” Padres manager Bud Black said. “He held down a very good lineup with just three hits. He did a great job of mixing his pitches, changing speeds and keeping them off-balance. It was just a great job of pitching.”
Lerew showed off a new two-seam sinker he learned from pitching coach Roger McDowell and allowed two hits—both homers—in six innings.
“It’s been my bread and butter since I started throwing it,” Lerew said.
Said Cox: “That’s the best I’ve ever seen Anthony.
“All he’s got to do is throw that sinker like he’s throwing it, throw the changeup and he’s in business.”
Mike Cameron led off the San Diego third with his first homer, a liner into the left-field seats.
“That ball was smoked,” Black said. “That’s the Mike Cameron that everybody in the organization is used to seeing.”
Termel Sledge led off the fifth for the Padres with his fourth homer, also to left.
Lerew had seven strikeouts and walked two.
The Braves have gone six straight games without a home run. The team’s 38 homers led the major leagues before the power drought.
“We’re not worried about that; home runs are going to come,” Andruw Jones said. “Everybody gets on a streak.”
Germano entered the game with a 1-3 career record and 8.04 ERA with San Diego (2004) and Cincinnati (2006). He was claimed by the Padres off waivers from Philadelphia on March 19.
“I wanted to come in and go as deep as I could to give the bullpen a rest,” Germano said.
Germano retired his first 11 batters before Chipper Jones hit a high fly ball to center field for what looked to be the third out of the fourth. Instead, Cameron lost the ball in the lights and he stood near the warning track as the ball fell safely in front of him. Jones hustled to second base for a double.
Germano appeared to be temporarily rattled by the play as he walked Andruw Jones, but Jeff Francoeur lined out to right field to end the inning.
Renteria hit a sixth-inning double to the left-field wall, just beyond Sledge’s reach, for Atlanta’s second hit. With two outs, Andruw Jones ended his hitless streak with another double off the left-field wall to cut San Diego’s lead to 2-1.
Neither starter gave up a single. … Renteria has a 16-game hitting streak. … The Braves designated LHP Steve Colyer for assignment before the game to clear a roster spot for Lerew. Colyer has 10 days to decide if he will accept the assignment to Triple A Richmond.