Anderson's three RBI leads Angels past Braves
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
's second hit of the game had a bigger impact than the
could have imagined.
Anderson's two-run double in the eighth inning sparked a three-run uprising and helped knock Atlanta catcher
from the game as the
Los Angeles Angels
of Anaheim rallied for a 4-2 interleague triumph over the Braves.
With two on and one out, Anderson - who is hitting .464 (13-for-28) in his last seven games - smacked the first pitch of the at-bat from
down the right field line.
scored the tying run,
- who had been on first base - followed but was beaten to the plate by the relay throw. A member of Nebraska's 1994 national championship football team, Erstad planted his shoulder into Estrada, jarring the ball loose and knocking the Braves' catcher out of the game.
"Everybody says that (I was a football player)," said Erstad, who suffered a gash on his left shoulder as a result of the play. "I was a punter. Everybody (mentions) the football instinct. I kicked the football in college."
Despite the play being clean, several members of the Braves were upset with Erstad's actions.
, who currently is on the disabled list, was seen yelling at the Angels' bench after the collision, while
voiced his opinion on Erstad's style of play.
"I thought he could have slid outside," Franco said. "I've played against Erstad, and his mentality is not my mentality. He plays the game like a football player. I don't mind the hit, I mind the location of the hit. To hit a guy like that could do a lot of major damage to him."
Erstad unsuccessfully tried to contact the Braves' locker room to talk to Estrada, who was taken to a local hospital for tests on his head and neck.
"You just get to the point of no return where you're a dead duck and you have to make a play," Erstad said. "There was no intent to injure. You just hope Estrada is OK."
Estrada's was the latest in a series of recent injuries for the Braves, who have placed third baseman
(left foot) and starter
(left forearm) on the disabled list in last two days.
"It's just par for the course right now," Braves first baseman
said. "It seems like the baseball is not going our way. We're definitely in a hole that we need to get out of."
capped the scoring with an RBI single in the eighth.
(3-1) retired the side in order in the seventh and closer
gave up a double and a walk in the ninth before striking out
for his 11th save.
Anaheim's relievers entered the game 0-4 with a 10.66 ERA in their previous six outings. But the bullpen held the Braves to just one hit in the final three innings of this one.
With Anaheim trailing, 2-0, Anderson halved the deficit in the sixth with an RBI single off the glove of shortstop Furcal. The hit plated
, who advanced to third when a balk was called on Smoltz as he attempted to call for time.
Smoltz (4-5), who retired the first 14 batters he faced, yielded four runs and 13 hits in 8 1/3 innings. The veteran righthander struck out five without a walk.
"One bad pitch in (the eighth) inning, and it was to
," Smoltz said. "He got a double, and because of it, who knows how long we're losing Johnny."
LaRoche ended a 3-for-22 drought with a two-run homer in the fourth for the Braves, who have lost eight of 11.