MLB: Soriano helps Braves win
ATLANTA ó Chipper Jones says the Atlanta Braves should have had more than one All-Star this year.
He says Rafael Soriano proved again against the New York Mets that he is closing games like a star.
Jones drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Soriano capped three scoreless innings by Atlanta’s bullpen as the Braves beat the Mets 5-3 on Thursday night.
“He’s been automatic, every time out,” Jones, a six-time All-Star, said of Soriano. “He should have been an All-Star. I can’t believe he didn’t make it.”
Jones’ two-out fielding error in the ninth on Brian Schneider’s grounder to third kept Soriano from his seventh 1-2-3 inning in his last nine appearances. He lowered his ERA to 1.44 and has 13 saves in 14 chances.
Soriano struck out pinch-hitter Jeremy Reed to end the game with a 96 mph fastball.
The Braves broke a 3-3 tie against the New York bullpen, which gave up two runs in two innings.
Pedro Feliciano (2-3) walked pinch-hitter Brooks Conrad, who advanced to third on Martin Prado’s hit-and-run single to left off Bobby Parnell (East Rowan).Jones, a .330 career hitter against the Mets, drove in Conrad with a single to right off Parnell to give the Braves a 4-3 lead.
“You expect Chipper to deliver every time,” Braves manager Bobby Cox said.
The win left the Braves (44-45) one game under .500 and 11/2 games ahead of the fourth-place Mets (42-46) in the NL East.