Braves Squeeze By Mets, 3-2

first_imgNEW YORK — Braves pitchers are thankful Andrelton Simmons is their shortstop and not another powerful pitching arm.The 24-year old would not sign with Atlanta in 2010 unless the Braves allowed him to remain in the infield.With the potential tying run on third base in the eighth inning on Aug. 27, he ranged onto the outfield grass to snag Travis d’Arnaud’s grounder, then made a one-hop throw to first baseman Freddie Freeman.That preserved the lead as the Braves beat the New York Mets 3-2 behind Julio Teheran’s strong start to stop a three-game losing streak.“Two out, man on third, not only does he make the play, but he makes an accurate throw to first base,” Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “Today, Teheran should take him out to dinner because he saved him the win.”Teheran (13-9) gave up three hits in 6 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked two. “My fastball was working and I threw my changeup more,” he said. “I think that’s how I got them off-balance.”Jason Heyward connected on Zack Wheeler’s third pitch of the game for his 11th homer of the season.After Wilmer Flores’ home run tied the game in the second, the Braves went ahead for good in the third when Phil Gosselin reached on a bunt single, Freeman doubled, Justin Upton hit a broken-bat RBI groundout and shortstop Ruben Tejada allowed Evan Gattis’ two-out bouncer to pop out of his glove for a run-scoring error.“Justin’s at-bat was huge,” Heyward said. “It was a broken bat and scored the go-ahead run. When you put the ball in play, it puts pressure on the defense. And then when Gattis put the ball in play, they made an error and it led to another run.”Craig Kimbrel allowed Eric Campbell’s leadoff single in the ninth and walked Matt den Dekker. After Flores sacrificed, Gosselin threw out Campbell at the plate on Tejada’s grounder to third and pinch-hitter Kirk Nieuwenhuis flied hit a game-ending flyout. Kimbrel got his 39th save in 43 chances.Juan Lagares had an RBI single in the eighth off Jordan Walden before Lucas Duda grounded into a double play. Then came Simmons’ sterling throw.“It looks like he has no chance, and then in the last second, he just reaches for it and throws it,” d’Arnaud said. “What a great play.”Wheeler (9-9) gave up three runs — two earned — four hits and three walks in seven innings with seven strikeouts. He had been 6-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts since losing to Oakland on June 25.Atlanta began the night 1 1/2 games behind San Francisco for the second NL wild card.(CHARLES O’BRIEN)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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Nationals Draft Mariano Rivera III

first_imgNEW YORK — Enter Sandman — the sequel.Iona College right-hander Mariano Rivera III, son of the former Yankees closer, was drafted in the fourth round June 9 by the Washington Nationals.Rivera was 5-7 with a 2.65 ERA and a school-record 113 strikeouts with 27 walks in 85 innings this season for the Gaels, while also being selected the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s pitcher of the year.While his famous father saved a major league-record 652 games, the younger Rivera has been a solid college starter with six complete games, including three shutouts.Rivera III was drafted in the 29th round by the Yankees last year, but opted to return for his junior season.Rivera III was drafted in the 29th round by the Yankees last year, but opted to return for his junior season.“Obviously, he comes from a great baseball background,” Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said before his team faced the Nationals at Yankee Stadium. Girardi added that it’s “a big day for the young man and for ‘Big Mo.’”While he doesn’t have the devastating cutter that made his father so dominant during a 19-year career, the younger Rivera has a fastball that hits the mid- to upper-90s consistently, along with a solid curve and slider.He bears a striking resemblance facially to his father, although the 21-year-old Rivera takes a smaller frame to the mound at 5-foot-11 and 155 pounds; the elder Rivera was 6-2, 195.Rivera wasn’t the only player with baseball bloodlines taken early during the second day of the baseball draft. Missouri State outfielder Tate Matheny, son of St. Louis manager Mike Matheny, was drafted by Boston early in the fourth round.Matheny, a 23rd-rounder by the Cardinals out of high school in 2012, hit .291 with five homers and 43 RBIs for the Bears this year, along with a team-leading 12 stolen bases.Michigan State outfielder Cam Gibson, son of 1988 NL MVP Kirk Gibson, was drafted in the fifth round by the Detroit Tigers — the team that drafted the elder Gibson with the No. 12 overall pick in 1978.Cam Gibson was drafted in the 38th round by Arizona in 2012 while Kirk was managing the Diamondbacks, but opted to go to Michigan State, where his dad also played his college ball. He hit .294 and had 17 stolen bases in 57 games for the Spartans this season.Several other familiar names were selected in the first two rounds including: Florida high school outfielder Kyle Tucker (No. 5 overall by Houston), the younger brother of Astros outfielder Preston Tucker; Texas high school third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, son of former big leaguer Charlie Hayes, went 32nd overall to Pittsburgh; Georgia high school outfielder Daz Cameron, son of former All-Star Mike Cameron, went 37th to Houston; and California high school third baseman Tyler Nevin, the son of 1992 No. 1 overall pick Phil Nevin, was drafted by Colorado at No. 38.Among other notable selections was Texas drafting Duke right-hander Michael Matuella, who had Tommy John surgery in April, early in the third round. Matuella was considered a candidate for the No. 1 overall pick entering the season.“Unreal moment,” Matuella wrote on Twitter. “Im beyond excited for the opportunity that the @Rangers have given me!! Thank you to everyone for the incredible support!!!”(DENNIS WASZAK Jr., AP Sports Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

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