Ramirez, Francoeur help Braves to fast start on homestand
ATLANTA (Ticker) --
off to a quick start on their season-long 12-game homestand.
The trio combined to drive in four runs in the first inning and
continued his excellent pitching at Turner Field as the Braves pounded the
San Francisco Giants
, 7-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
With one out in the first against Giants starter
, LaRoche drilled a two-run double down the right field line. Francoeur followed with an infield single to bring home another run and McCann plated LaRoche with a single to right for a 4-0 lead.
"It seemed like we found every hole available to get a hit tonight," Braves manager
said. "It's always good to win the first one. It helps."
hit a two-run double during a three-run third as Atlanta capped the scoring.
Ramirez (10-7) made the early runs hold up. He yielded a run and six hits in 7 2/3 innings with three walks and two strikeouts to improve to 7-1 with a 2.91 ERA in 10 home starts this season. On the road, the lefthander is 3-6 with a 5.87 ERA in 13 starts.
"It's great pitching here," Ramirez said. "I love pitching here, (but) I can't explain why my numbers are what they are at home and what they are on the road."
Ramirez also helped himself at the plate with an RBI single in the third.
"I just swung," said Ramirez, who is bating .231 on the season. "(Hennessey) threw five fastballs in a row right by me. I was lucky to hit that one."
Hennessey (4-4) was pulled after surrendering seven runs and eight hits in just 2 2/3 frames. The righthander had allowed just two runs in 14 innings over his last two starts.
"I think I'm Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at times," Hennessey said. "I couldn't get any rhythm. I couldn't make pitches."
Francoeur had his first four-hit contest and extended his hitting streak to 10 games for the Braves, who improved to 36-15 at Turner Field this season. The right fielder is batting .432 (35-for-81) since being recalled from the minor leagues.
"I felt good," Francoeur said. "You have to be able to stay on an even keel for the highs and the lows."
"Everything he hits is a hit," said fellow rookie and Atlanta-area native McCann, who has watched Francoeur play since Little League. "He's turning into one of the best hitters. He's the real deal. I knew that (since I was) 10."
It looked like Francoeur would have a chance to collect his fifth hit in the eighth, but LaRoche grounded into a double play to end the inning with the hot rookie on deck.
"LaRoche kept on hitting into double plays," Cox said. "I told him that he owes Francoeur a dinner. He would have been 5-for-5.
had three hits and an RBI for San Francisco, which began a 13-game road trip that includes stops at Florida, Cincinnati and St. Louis.
"It's a long road trip," Niekro said. "It's not the way we wanted to start it off."
Atlanta second baseman
extended his hitting streak to a career-high 13 games with a single in the eighth.