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Four Errors Drop Atlanta Braves to 0-4

April 10th, 2012 at 8:10 AM
By Cody Fields

Although the Atlanta Braves started their season 0-3, there was still hope heading into Monday with the fact that the 2003 Braves won 101 games. They are now heading into dangerous territory, as the 1988 started 0-4 and ended with 106 losses.

In the series opener with the Houston Astros, three Juan Francisco errors combined with a Tyler Pastornicky throwing error paved the way for the Astros to score three unearned runs on Brandon Beachy.

Beachy retired eight of the first nine batters he faced, but gave up a two-out walk to Jordan Schafer. Francisco committed one error when he bobbled a grounder by Jose Altuve, and then he made another one on the throw when Schafer was hung up between second and third base and dead to rights.

Travis Buck then hit a two-run double to left and then scored on a Carlos Lee RBI-single.

"You just got to get out of those innings," Beachy said. "You've got to make one pitch. I just didn't make it. I should have never walked a guy there. I should have never had a baserunner at that point. Realistically in my mind, I shouldn't have been facing that guy to begin with and that is my fault."

Francisco's errors changed the entire tone of the game after the Braves scored three runs off J.A. Happ in the first three innings. He gave up back-to-back RBI-singles to Pastornicky and Beachy, and McCann came through with his own in the third.

After that, Happ retired 11 of the final 12 batters he faced.

Beachy then got legitimately hit in the fourth for his only earned run in his five innings. Marwin Gonzalez hit a two-out double which was followed by Happ driving him in with a single.

Livan Hernandez then allowed two runs in two innings to grow the deficit to three, and Chad Durbin gave up a two-run homer to Justin Maxwell in the eighth to put the score at its 8-3 final.

"We got real ugly after that [error]," Fredi Gonzalez said. "It could have taken the air out of your club a little bit. But we're big boys."

Gonzalez said he played Francisco to see how he hit left-handed pitching before Chipper Jones makes his expected return on Tuesday. He instead saw why Francisco combined for 39 errors between Double-A Carolina and Triple-A Louisville in 2009.

"We're still going to be fine," Beachy said. "We're still four games into the season. But definitely a loss like this hurts. We're up three runs. I should have closed the door right there and it should have been it. It didn't happen. It hurts to lose the way we did. But we're going to be fine."

In an 8:05 start, Tommy Hanson will look to right the ship against Kyle Weiland on Tuesday.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Brandon Beachy, Chad Durbin, Fredi Gonzalez, J.A. Happ, Juan Francisco, Livan Hernandez, MLB, Tyler Pastornicky

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