Atlanta improves to 15-4 at home on Kotsay's key double

ATLANTA (AP) -- Leave it to Chipper Jones to sum up the Atlanta Braves' season after another win at Turner Field: "We're not bad here. We stink on the road."

Mark Kotsay knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning with a two-out RBI double, and the Braves edged the Oakland Athletics 3-2 Friday night for their eighth straight home victory.

The Braves, who lost five of seven on a road trip that ended Thursday in a 5-0 loss to Philadelphia, have the best home record in the majors at 15-4. They also have the worst record away from home at 6-16.

"There's no rhyme or reason why we win at home," said Jeff Francoeur, who drove in Atlanta's first run with a single. "It's unbelievable."

The loss was a season-high fourth in a row for the A's, who have dropped six of seven on their current nine-game road trip.

Kotsay's double to right-center scored Jones, who had singled off Alan Embree to open the eighth inning.

Embree (1-2) retired Mark Teixeira and Francoeur before giving up a single to Brian McCann, who went 3-for-4, that sent Jones to third and brought up Kotsay.

"There's no way to explain [winning at home]," said Atlanta manager Bobby Cox. "That ball that Kotsay hit -- on the road, it's right at somebody. Tonight he finds a gap."

Jones leads the majors in hitting with a .423 average. He went 2-for-3 with a walk and is hitting .459 at home (34-for-74).

"I don't know what the deal is," said Jones, who missed Thursday night's game with a strained groin. "We can't get any hits on the road. We can't score any runs. Can't make pitches. Just one thing after another. Here we seem to play fundamentally sound."

He said the groin felt much better, "but I can still feel it."

Manny Acosta (2-1) got the win with two scoreless innings of relief.

The Braves tied it at 2 in the sixth on RBI hits by Francoeur and McCann.

Omar Infante opened the inning with a single and Jones followed with another single before Teixeira hit into a double play. Francoeur followed with a single to score Infante and McCann doubled to the wall in right, scoring Francoeur off A's starter Dana Eveland.

Former Brave Joey Devine, who went to the A's in a winter deal for Kotsay, came on and struck out -- who else? -- pinch-hitter Kotsay to end the inning.

But Kotsay got another chance against his former teammates.

"Obviously, Alan is a power pitcher. I won this battle, but he's won a lot more," said Kotsay, who previously was 1-for-8 against Embree. He swung and missed the first 93 mph fast ball from the left-hander, but didn't on the next one.

"It was up and he put a swing on it," Embree said. "It's very frustrating."

Eveland allowed six hits, two runs, walked three and struck out four in 5 2/3 innings.

"I pitched much like I have been. I've been pretty consistent," he said. "Our team is solid. We have peaks and valley. We'll be out of it soon."

The A's, who scored only two runs in their three-game sweep at Cleveland, matched that total in the second inning with a pair of unearned runs and could have had more had it not been for poor baserunning.

Kurt Suzuki opened with a single off Atlanta starter Jair Jurrjens, ending an 0-for-23 slump. Ryan Sweeney then doubled to the gap in right-center, but Suzuki was tagged out when he was nearly halfway home and attempted to retreat back to third.

Donnie Murphy then walked and Eveland bunted right to Jurrjens, whose throw home went wild for an error and allowed Sweeney to score. Murphy later scored on a bouncer to first, and Bobby Crosby followed with a single to right, but Eveland was thrown out at the plate by Francoeur with catcher McCann making a diving tag.

Jurrjens gave up eight hits, the two unearned runs, and walked three with three strikeouts in five innings.

Game notes
Cosby went 3-for-4 and drew a walk. ... Eveland, who was 0-for-8, got his first major league hit, a single in the fourth. ... The A's had only one extra-base hit against Cleveland, a double by Crosby. They had two doubles Friday night, by Sweeney and Crosby. ... The A's recalled infielder Gregorio Petit from Triple-A Sacramento prior to the game and placed RHP Santiago Casilla on the 15-day DL with soreness of his right elbow. Petit hit .304 in 37 games at Sacramento. Casilla was 2-0 with a save and 0.93 ERA in 21 appearances. ... The Braves optioned LHP Chuck James to Triple-A Richmond prior to the game and recalled RHP Phil Stockman from Richmond. James was 2-3 with an 8.22 ERA. Stockton was 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings.