{}
CLOSE

Now Commenting On:

Vazquez seeks first win at Turner Field

Vazquez seeks first win at Turner Field

|
ATLANTA -- On Friday night, the Braves were three outs away from giving Javier Vazquez his first win at Turner Field this season. Ahead by a run in the ninth, all they needed were three outs from closer Mike Gonzalez and Vazquez could erase that unsightly zero from his home wins column.

That's when Gonzalez hung a slider to D-backs shortstop Stephen Drew, who launched a game-tying solo home run to keep Vazquez from recording a home victory.

Although the Braves ended up winning that game in the bottom of the ninth, Vazquez enters Wednesday's start against the Rockies winless at home in his short stint with Atlanta.

"It's not frustrating," Vazquez said. "Every time, you try to do your best out there. Sure, I would love to win at home. Some things I can't control. All I can control is doing my job out there every time."

In that game against Arizona, Vazquez certainly pitched well enough to win. He scattered five hits over seven innings, struck out 10 and allowed just two earned runs, both of which came in the first inning.

However, in his other three home starts he has given up 14 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings. Compared with his 2.10 road ERA, his home numbers are somewhat inexplicable.

"I don't think about if I'm at home or on the road," Vazquez said. "My job is to go out there and try to shut the opposition down. Obviously, I would love to do it at home the same as on the road, but sometimes it doesn't work that way."

Part of Vazquez's inability to win at home so far can be attributed to hard luck, but part of it can also be explained by his tendency to be victimized by one bad inning.

In his April 30 start against the Cardinals at Turner Field, Vazquez went eight innings and threw one of his best games of the year. But one excruciating inning prevented him from earning the win. The Cardinals scored four runs in the fifth, mostly by dropping singles just over the head of shortstop Yunel Escobar.

"I've had a few tough games here at home," Vazquez said. "I've been throwing the ball well. A big inning has hurt me. Other than that, I've been throwing the ball OK."

Vazquez's home struggles are one of the various symptoms of a larger problem plaguing the Braves. They just can't seem to duplicate the intensity that helped them win six of eight on their recent road trip when they play at Turner Field.

Tuesday night's 8-1 thrashing of the Rockies came after manager Bobby Cox made several changes to the batting order in hopes of manufacturing some offense. It worked, and the Braves hope it's a sign they'll have a more successful stay at Turner Field before they hit the road again.

"We liked the matchups coming into this homestand," said Braves right fielder Jeff Francoeur. "It seems like we play with a lot more intensity on the road than when we're at home. I don't know why that is, but we need to find some way to kind of change that and play better ball."

Pitching matchup
ATL: RHP Javier Vazquez (3-3, 3.71 ERA)
Vazquez completed his second straight impressive outing in Friday night's 4-3 win over the D-backs, but ended up with a no-decision when Arizona tied the game in the ninth inning. He allowed just two earned runs and struck out 10 in seven innings. The strikeout total gave Vazquez 39 career games with double-digit strikeouts. This will be Vazquez's first start against the Rockies since June 8, 2004, when he pitched for the Yankees.

COL: LHP Jorge De La Rosa (0-3, 3.16 ERA)
De La Rosa has sizzled, striking out 22 in 15 innings over his past two starts. The only drawback was that the Rockies didn't hit well behind him. They lost, 3-1, at Coors against the Marlins on May 9, when he fanned a career-high 12 in eight innings. He struck out 10 in seven innings against the Pirates on Friday but left down a run, before the Rockies came back for a 3-1 win. De La Rosa has had consistently strong fastball command throughout the season. Against the Pirates, he had supreme confidence in his changeup. He has never pitched at Turner Field, and the only time he faced the Braves, he struck out three and walked two in two scoreless innings.

Tidbits
Jorge Campillo will pitch Thursday for Triple-A Gwinnett. He will be used out of the bullpen, and it is unclear how many batters he will face. ... Tom Glavine will most likely start Saturday for Gwinnett, although no official announcement has been made by the team. ... With Tuesday's quality start, Jair Jurrjens has recorded quality starts in six of his past seven outings. ... Since returning from the disabled list, Brian McCann has hit safely in nine of 10 games. ... Kelly Johnson snapped an 0-for-8 hitless streak with his three-hit performance on Tuesday. ... Casey Kotchman went 3-for-5 on Tuesday, which was his team-leading 11th multi-hit game.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• SPSO

On radio
• 640 WGST, Project 9-6-1

Up next
• Thursday: Braves (Kris Medlen, Major League debut) vs. Rockies (Aaron Cook, 2-1, 5.71), 7:00 p.m. ET
• Friday: Braves (Kenshin Kawakami, 2-5, 5.73) vs. Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 8-1, 2.78), 7:30 p.m. ET
• Saturday: Braves (Derek Lowe, 5-2, 3.58) vs. Blue Jays (Scott Richmond, 4-2, 3.64), 7:00 p.m. ET

Adam Rosenberg is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{}
{}
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español