Thursday October 8th, 2015 2:04PM

La Stella stays hot, Braves drop Angels, 7-3

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA -- Manager Fredi Gonzalez says Tommy La Stella is playing as if he is looking for another promotion. That's how comfortable the rookie second baseman has looked in his first three weeks in the major leagues.<br /> <br /> La Stella had three hits, including a two-run double in Atlanta's four-run sixth, and the Braves beat Hector Santiago and the Los Angeles Angels 7-3 on Sunday night.<br /> <br /> La Stella is hitting .411 with at least two hits in nine of his 16 games.<br /> <br /> "I think La Stella thinks there's another league, the way he carries himself," Gonzalez said. "So it doesn't surprise me that he feels this comfortable right away."<br /> <br /> La Stella has put a lock on the second base job with strong defense and his impressive start at the plate.<br /> <br /> "I wouldn't say surprised," La Stella said when asked about his continued strong hitting. "Anytime you have a shot, especially in the big leagues, you want to start off on the right foot. I've been able to do that and hopefully I can keep going."<br /> <br /> Evan Gattis and Justin Upton also had run-scoring singles in the sixth as the Braves rallied against Santiago (0-7). Jason Heyward homered in the seventh and made two strong defensive plays in right field to take hits away from Mike Trout.<br /> <br /> Trout had three hits, including a homer. Erick Aybar also homered for the Angels before leaving the game with a sore left hip.<br /> <br /> Manager Mike Scioscia said he hopes Aybar can play Monday. He said Aybar first hurt his hip in Saturday night's game.<br /> <br /> Anthony Vavaro (2-1) had three strikeouts in two perfect innings for the win.<br /> <br /> The Braves moved back into first place in the NL East by winning two of three from the Angels, who remain in second in the AL West.<br /> <br /> David Carpenter gave up a single to Trout before hitting Albert Pujols with a pitch with one out in the ninth. Craig Kimbrel struck out Josh Hamilton and Howie Kendrick for his 20th save.<br /> <br /> Santiago, trying for his first win of 2014, allowed only two hits through five innings before fading in the sixth. He was charged with four runs and five hits in 5 1-3 innings.<br /> <br /> "Hector, really, for five innings was really on top of things," Scioscia said. "Things unraveled a bit but I still think Hector pitched a really strong ballgame."<br /> <br /> Atlanta's Mike Minor matched his career high by allowing 11 hits for the second straight game. He gave up three runs in five innings.<br /> <br /> With one out in the sixth, B.J. Upton walked and moved to third on Freddie Freeman's single to center. Gattis extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a run-scoring single to right field. Freeman scored on Justin Upton's infield hit that David Freese couldn't handle at third base.<br /> <br /> Chris Johnson's single off Kevin Jepsen loaded the bases to set up La Stella's double to right-center. Johnson was thrown out at the plate.<br /> <br /> Aybar hit his fifth homer leading off the second. He reached on a fielder's choice grounder in the third before being removed from the game in the bottom of the inning. John McDonald took over at shortstop.<br /> <br /> Trout raced in to make a tumbling catch of B.J. Upton's sinking liner to end the third inning.<br /> <br /> Heyward took a hit away from Trout with a similar catch in the fourth. Heyward again denied Trout of a hit in the sixth. Sprinting toward the wall, Heyward jumped and reached up at the warning track to catch a long fly ball before running into the wall.<br /> <br /> "If Jason doesn't make those plays, we might lose the game," Gonzalez said.<br /> <br /> Heyward hit his eighth homer off Cam Bedrosian. B.J. Upton singled, stole second and scored from third on Bedrosian's wild pitch.<br /> <br /> NOTES: The Angels placed RHP Fernando Salas on the 15-day DL with shoulder inflammation. Salas pitched two scoreless innings to earn the win in Saturday night's 11-6 victory over the Braves in 13 innings. RHP Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake and pitched the eighth. ... Trout had seven hits, including two homers, and drove in five runs in the three-game series. ... The Braves signed OF Braxton Davidson, the team's first-round pick from Arden, North Carolina. ... The Braves open a three-game home series against Philadelphia on Monday night when RHP Julio Teheran faces Phillies LHP Cole Hamels. The Angels open a four-game series at Cleveland with RHP Jered Weaver matched against Indians RHP Trevor Bauer.
© Copyright 2015
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
2014 Top 10: Looking back at the top sports stories of the year
It was another year for the record books in 2014, mostly for the right reasons -- state championships, new challenges and new stars taking their turn to shine. But there were also plenty of big stories that reminded us that sports -- like life -- isn
11:55PM ( 9 months ago )
NASCAR K&N Pro Series schedules set for 2015
DAYTONA BEACH, FL - NASCAR announced recently the 2015 schedules for its top developmental regional touring series, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East and NASCAR K&N Pro Series West.
2:00PM ( 9 months ago )
Lanierland boys final: Johnson makes history with win over Red Elephants <b> (VIDEO) </b>
Ever the aggressor on the court, Johnson
8:55AM ( 9 months ago )
Pits will be tight as Chili Bowl entry count hits 316
TULSA, OK - The 29th annual Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Midget Nationals presented by General Tire is on track to be a record smashing event, with the entry count climbing over the 300 mark for the first time to 316 entries confirming 303 drivers for the indoor spectacular happening Tuesday, January 13 through Saturday, January 17 at the Tulsa Expo Center in Tulsa, OK.
9:59AM ( 9 months ago )
Falcons fire Mike Smith after 2nd straight losing season
Mike Smith's status as the winningest coach in Falcons history wasn't enough to save his job. Owner Arthur Blank said he fired Smith on Monday because in his "heart of hearts" he didn't believe Smith could take the Falcons to the Super Bowl.
7:58PM ( 9 months ago )
New promoters in place for 2015 at Senoia Raceway
SENOIA, GA - Lease papers have been signed and a team of new promoters is in place for the upcoming stock car racing season at Senoia Raceway in Senoia, GA.
6:00AM ( 9 months ago )
Professional Sports
Surprising Tigers looking to take early lead in 7-AAA
Sid Maxwell admitted he wasn’t sure what he was getting into when he decided to take the Dawson County job back in the spring.
5:02PM ( 2 hours from now )
Falcons downplay White's complaints about lack of passes
Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White skipped practice Wednesday for an undisclosed personal matter, while the team addressed concerns that he's not happy with a diminished role in the offense.
By The Associated Press
8:42AM ( 5 hours ago )
VIDEO: Kevin Harvick, Regan Smith tame the 'Monster Mile'
If there's one thing the NASCAR world should know by now, it's that Kevin Harvick is hard to beat when he's in a must win situation.
8:00AM ( 6 hours ago )
Tennessee dismisses WR Pig Howard ahead of facing UGA
Tennessee wide receiver Alton "Pig" Howard has been dismissed from the team for a violation of unspecified team rules.
By The Associated Press
5:48AM ( 8 hours ago )
Cross country: Johnson boys, North Hall girls claim Hall County titles
Johnson’s boys took first place individually and as a team, while North Hall’s girls did the same on Wednesday at the Hall County Cross County Championships at Chestatee High in Gainesville.
By AccessWDUN Staff
12:12AM ( 13 hours ago )