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Braves Comeback To Win, Sweep Royals

Sports Network | June 20, 2010

Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Eric Hinske doubled home the tie-breaking runs in the eighth inning to lift Atlanta to an 8-5 win over Kansas City and a series sweep of their interleague matchup at Turner Field.

The Royals loaded the bases with nobody out in the top of the eighth, but could not score against Craig Kimbrel. Hinske rifled a two-out double into the alley in right-center field in the bottom of the frame off Blake Wood (0-1) to plate two runners, break a 5-5 log jam and make a winner of Kimbrel (2-0). Billy Wagner tossed a scoreless ninth inning to recorded his 14th save of the season and 399th of his career.

Chipper Jones added two hits, drove in three and scored twice for Atlanta, which completed its homestand by winning the last five after losing the opener.

Chris Getz had two hits and two RBI, and Jose Guillen had two hits, drove in a run and scored twice for Kansas City, which has dropped four out of five.

Kimbrel opened the eighth on the hill and committed a fielding error and issued two free passes that filled the bases. The right-hander then wrangled his way out of trouble, as David DeJesus took a called third strike before Mike Aviles went down swinging. Billy Butler then popped up to end the threat.

Wood started the home half and ran into trouble with two down. Jones and Troy Glaus drew walks in front of Hinske, who jumped on an 0-1 offering and found enough open space in the outfield to score Jones and Glaus to put the Braves back in front by a 7-5 count. Brandon Hicks pinch-ran for Hinske and scored when Melky Cabrera followed wtih a base hit to left field.

"Our offense stayed in there and came back and scored late and the bullpen, we went out there and battled all day," said Kimbrel of the late inning heroics. "One hitter, one inning at a time, we did a pretty good job holding them from scoring at the end of the game."

Martin Prado opened the home first with a walk, stole second and remained there when Heyward walked. Jones then ripped a double into the right field corner to plate both runners and give the Braves the early lead.

After another walk to Glaus, Kansas City starter Kyle Davies retired the next two hitters before Omar Infante delivered a two-run double to left to make it a 4-0 game.

The Royals responded in the second with back-to-back run-scoring singles by Brayan Pena and Getz to cut the lead in half.

Guillen's run-scoring single, the third straight base hit to begin the third for the visitors, made it a 4-3 contest and chased Kenshin Kawakami from the hill.

Cristhian Martinez took over and retired the first batter he faced before Mitch Maier's infield single that plated Butler with the tying run. One out later, Getz lofted a bloop double into right field that scored Guillen to give the Royals their first lead at 5-4.

Kawakami remains winless in 14 starts after giving up five runs -- four earned -- on six hits over two-plus frames.

Davies lasted 4 1/3 innings in his first start against his former team, giving up four runs on four hits and seven walks, while fanning six. Victor Marte finished the fifth to keep the Royals in front before Jones evened the game in the sixth with a double off Kyle Farnsworth.

"I grew up a Braves fan, it's good to see them doing well," said Davies, who is from Decatur, GA, said about facing his hometown team. "As far as the game goes, it was a little frustrating because if I'd have had my command, it might have been a different outcome."

The Braves improved to a major-league-best 24-7 at home...They upped their record to 7-2 in interleague play, while the Royals slipped to 5-7...Atlanta has gone 10-0-3 in its last 13 series since May 10 and 34-14 since snapping a nine-game losing streak on April 30...The Braves have won all 10 of their home day games..Prado has hit safely in eight straight, collecting 17 hits...Guillen has hit safely in a career-high 15 consecutive games, totaling 21 hits...The Royals open a three-game series in Washington, DC on Monday, making their first trip to the nation's capital since 1971 when they faced the Washington Senators at RFK Stadium. Kansas City last faced the Washington organization in Montreal in 2004 and is 1-5 against the Nationals/Expos.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.