ATLANTA (AP) -- Kelly Johnson was very happy, even after his
"It was outstanding," said Johnson, who drove in a run, made a
sliding catch and threw out a runner at the plate in the Atlanta
Braves' 7-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies that averted a
Johnson was recalled from Triple-A Richmond on Sunday after
right fielder Raul Mondesi was told he lost his starting job.
Mondesi was given two days to decide if he will accept a lesser
role on the team. He will not accompany the Braves to Washington
for a three-game series that begins Monday.
After the game, manager Bobby Cox said Johnson will receive most
of the playing time in left field while another rookie, Ryan
Langerhans, and Brian Jordan share time in right.
"He looked good in the middle of our lineup," said Cox of
Johnson, who hit third while Chipper Jones moved to the cleanup
Jones noted that Johnson hit two line drives to the outfield and
drew a walk.
"He put the ball in play hard a few times, stayed patient at
the plate for a walk and made some key plays in the outfield,"
Jones said. "He did everything asked of him and he looked pretty
comfortable at the plate."
Jones said he hopes the Braves, tied with Florida atop the NL
East, "just find a winning formula and stick with it."
Johnson drove in his first run with a fielder's choice grounder
in the Braves' three-run eighth inning.
"I enjoyed every second of it," he said.
Johnson made an impact with two plays in left field, including a
sliding catch in the fifth on a sinking liner hit by Kenny Lofton.
In the sixth, Johnson threw out Jim Thome at the plate as he
tried to score from second on a single by David Bell. Johnson threw
a one-hop strike to catcher Johnny Estrada to nail Thome on a close
play and end the inning.
The Braves denied the Phillies their first series sweep at
Turner Field. Atlanta completed a six-game homestand 4-2, while
Philadelphia heads home from a 5-4 road trip to play 13 straight at
"What I feel good about is we showed ourselves we can
definitely play with the leading teams in baseball," Phillies
manager Charlie Manuel said.
Tim Hudson (6-3) needed 99 pitches to last seven innings for
Atlanta. He gave up six hits and walked five batters while allowing
Two of Hudson's walks were to Thome.
"That guy rakes me," Hudson said. "Sometimes when I'm facing
a guy who has hit me well in the past, I'd rather walk him and take
my chances with the next guy."
Hitting behind Thome, Pat Burrell was 0-for-4 with a strikeout
and hit into two double plays.
Braves leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal was 2-for-4 with an RBI, a
run scored and two stolen bases, giving him eight steals on the
"Let me tell you something, the whole object in playing the
Braves is to keep him off base," Manuel said.
Phillies starter Brett Myers (4-3) gave up five hits and four
runs in five innings as his ERA (2.06) climbed above 2.00 for the
first time this season.
Marcus Giles gave the Braves a 1-0 lead in the first with his
The Braves went ahead 4-2 with three in the fifth. After singles
by Andruw Jones and Estrada, Langerhans drove in both runners with
a triple to the wall in right-center. Furcal's infield single
brought in Langerhans.
Johnson knocked in his first run with a fielder's choice
grounder against Robinson Tejeda in the eighth. Johnson drove in
Furcal, who reached on his second infield hit of the game, stole
second and advanced to third on Lieberthal's throwing error.
Tejeda loaded the bases with walks to Giles and Chipper Jones.
Adam LaRoche hit a fly ball to center off Amaury Telemaco that
Lofton dropped in the rain, allowing one run to score. Andruw
Jones' grounder was briefly bobbled by Bell at third, and Bell had
to settle for a force out as another run scored to make it 7-2.
Johnson filled the roster spot of rookie pitcher Matt Childers,
who was designated for assignment.
Myers made his shortest outing since Oct. 3, 2004, when he
also lasted five innings against Florida. ... Johnson was doubled
off first base in the fourth inning. Running from first on a
hit-and-run play following a walk, Johnson was late getting back to
first when he was faked at second base on a fly ball to left hit by