July 19th, 2006


Braves bats keep up run rampage


Photos by the Associated Press
St. Louis Cardinals outfielder So Taguchi slams into the center field wall as he tries to catch Atlanta Braves Brian McCann’s home run in the sixth inning of their baseball game Tuesday at Busch Stadium.

By The Associated Press
The 2006 Atlanta Braves. The 1930 New York Yankees. The 1897 Boston Beaneaters.
Now you’re talking offense.
Andruw Jones went 5-for-5 with two homers and matched his career high with six RBIs to lead the Braves to a 14-5 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night. It was the fifth straight game Atlanta scored 10 or more runs.
The last team in the major leagues to do that was the 1930 Yankees, who had Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. The last time the Braves franchise did it was 109 years ago as the Beaneaters.
“The Beaneaters keep popping up every afternoon,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said. “Way back. I wasn’t around then. It’s kind of strange to be talking about those kinds of records, at all.”
Adam LaRoche, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann also homered for the Braves, who have scored 65 runs in the last five games, including two 15-run outbursts. The Braves have 81 hits during their five-game run and 98 in their last six, going back to an 8-3 victory over Cincinnati on July 9, the last game before the All-Star break.
“We’re just swinging the bat the way we’re supposed to,” Andruw Jones said. “Everybody is doing something. You look at the lineup, everybody is on base or driving somebody in.”
And no one is hitting better than Chipper Jones. One day after his consecutive games streak with an extra base hit ended at 14, leaving him tied with Hall of Famer Paul Waner who did it for Pittsburgh in 1927, Jones went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 18 games, all but four multihit efforts. He’s batting .534 (39-for-73) during the streak with eight homers and 23 RBIs.
During their six-game streak, the Braves have outscored their opponents 77-32 and have hit 19 homers in the last five — two off the major league record set by the 1977 Boston Red Sox and 1999 Cincinnati Reds.
“It’s been a lot of fun to sit in the dugout and watch these guys do what they’ve been doing,” starter Tim Hudson (7-8) said. “It’s even more fun pitching behind them.”
The Cardinals had won a season-best seven straight before Atlanta opened the series with a 15-3 win on Monday. The Braves were up 13-1 in the fifth inning on Tuesday.
“Giving up so many runs early, it gave us all kinds of problems as far as winning the game, saving our staff, not being embarrassed, everything,” manager Tony La Russa said.
Jason Marquis (11-7) allowed 12 runs and 14 hits in five innings.
The Braves scored in each of the first six innings, beginning with Andruw Jones’ two-run shot in the first, his 23rd of the season. Andruw Jones is 7-for-10 with four homers and 11 RBIs against Marquis, his former teammate on the Braves.
Rockies 13, Pirates 4: Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer and Jamie Carroll had three RBIs as visiting Colorado snapped an eight-game losing streak.
Yorvit Torrealba went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and Choo Freeman drove in two runs for the Rockies, who had scored a total of eight runs in their previous four games. Jeff Francis (7-8) won for only the second time since June 12, allowing one earned run and eight hits in seven innings.
Tom Gorzelanny (0-2) gave up seven runs, five earned, in 2 2-3 innings for the Pirates.
Nationals 7, Marlins 6: Alex Escobar’s RBI single off Logan Kensing (1-3) in the ninth inning capped visiting Washington’s rally from a four-run deficit.
Escobar’s single drove in Ryan Zimmerman, who had doubled to extend his hitting streak to a rookie franchise-record 17 games. Mike Stanton (3-5) picked up the win with one scoreless inning in relief and Chad Cordero finished up for his 14th save.
Alfonso Soriano opened the game with a home run for Washington. Hanley Ramirez’s leadoff home run in the bottom of the first made it the 28th time in major league history both teams hit leadoff homers.
Mets 8, Reds 3: Carlos Beltran hit a grand slam for the second straight game for visiting New York, which has won five of six games.
Xavier Nady and Jose Valentin hit solo homers to back 22-year-old rookie Mike Pelfrey (2-0), who gave up seven singles and two runs in six innings in his second major league start.
Beltran’s grand slam off Eric Milton (6-5) was the sixth of his career.
Cubs 4, Astros 2: Phil Nevin hit a three-run homer and rookie Carlos Marmol (3-3) allowed one run over six innings for host Chicago. Ryan Dempster pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 15th save.
Chris Burke homered for the Astros, who have lost six of eight. Roy Oswalt (6-7) has gone six straight starts without a win and has lost his last four decisions.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Chad Billingsley threw seven shutout innings to earn his first major league victory and visiting Los Angeles snapped a five-game losing streak.
Billingsley (1-2) scattered six hits in the longest outing of his seven big-league starts as the Dodgers won for the first time since the All-Star break.
Arizona starter Juan Cruz (3-5) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings.
Padres 10, Phillies 6: Mike Piazza homered for his 1,999th career hit, Mike Cameron hit a two-run shot and Adrian Gonzalez had three hits to lead host San Diego.
The Padres scored four runs in the sixth to chase Ryan Madson (8-7).
Aaron Rowand and Jimmy Rollins homered for the Phillies, both off Clay Hensley (6-7), who left after six innings with a 7-2 lead. Philadelphia’s Chase Utley extended his hitting streak to 20 games.
Giants 4, Brewers 3: Pinch-hitter Moises Alou hit a go-ahead two-run double in the sixth to help Jamey Wright win for the first time in nearly two months for host San Francisco.
Wright (6-8) snapped an eight-start winless stretch with his first victory since May 22, going 0-5 during that span.
Rookie Prince Fielder had his third straight three-hit game and drove in a run for Milwaukee.
Geremi Gonzalez (2-1) gave up two runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning.


Taxes could wind up being Bonds’ downfall

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The easy money Barry Bonds made by aggressively selling his name, likeness and sports equipment through his Web site and brief autograph sessions in hotel conference rooms could prove to be the embattled slugger’s legal undoing.
A federal grand jury is probing whether he paid taxes on some of that fortune, and key government witnesses include a scorned business partner and a jilted lover who profited from the name “Barry Bonds.” He also is being investigated for allegedly lying to another federal grand jury about his steroid use.
Legal analysts said proving the Giants star cheated the IRS out of its cut of memorabilia sales is far easier to prove than perjury.
If so, Bonds wouldn’t be the first professional athlete to run afoul of the IRS over sales of autographed jerseys, balls and baseball cards.
Pete Rose in 1990 served five months in prison for not reporting income from memorabilia. Several other prominent players — including Darryl Strawberry and Hall of Famers Duke Snider and Willie McCovey — were busted in the 1990s for not properly reporting such income.