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  Saturday, Apr. 22 7:10pm ET
Braves' Chen has look of winner in relief

ATLANTA (AP) -- Just back from the minor leagues, Bruce Chen didn't even have his own glove or cleats. He might want to keep borrowing gear from his teammates.

Chen, using Mike Remlinger's glove and Eddie Perez's spikes, pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the Atlanta Braves, who won their sixth in a row Saturday night, 4-2 over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Andruw Jones homered in the fifth to break a 1-1 tie and John Rocker, coming in to another standing ovation, struck out the side in the ninth for his second save.

Chen (2-0) was recalled from Triple-A Richmond late Thursday night when Kevin McGlinchy went on the disabled list. Chen's equipment, shipped separately, didn't arrive in time for Saturday's game, but he was needed nonetheless.

The left-hander allowed three hits and struck out three after taking over in the fourth for starter John Burkett, who left because of a sharp pain in his right shoulder.

"I know I've got the ability," said the 22-year-old Chen, who has endured two up-and-down seasons with the Braves. "It's just a matter of getting an opportunity. I feel real confident with my pitches. Even if I make a bad pitch, I know I can come back with a good pitch."

Burkett, making his first start of the season, felt a "knifing pain" while pitching in the third to Brian Giles.

Burkett managed to complete the inning, giving up an RBI single to Kevin Young, but couldn't go on. The Braves don't think the injury is serious.

"Hopefully, it will feel better in a few days," said Burkett, who left a game with an injury for only the second time in his career. "I'm disappointed with what happened but I'm glad we won the game."

The Braves bullpen allowed just five hits and a run after Burkett left, striking out nine.

Mike Remlinger escaped trouble in the seventh and fanned the final two hitters in the eighth. Rocker allowed a two-out single to Pat Meares but got Brian Giles on a checked-swing.

Jones broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth, taking a hanging slider from Kris Benson (0-3) into the left-field seats for his fourth homer of the season. Jones has hit in 13 of 14 games, including six in a row.

The Braves extended their lead in the sixth. Wally Joyner, starting at first in place of the streaking Andres Galarraga, led off with a single to left and moved to third on Bobby Bonilla's double.

Walt Weiss walked to load the bases before pinch-hitter Keith Lockhart brought home the run with a slow grounder to second. Warren Morris got the force at second, but Lockhart beat Meares' relay throw to first.

Pittsburgh closed to 3-2 in the seventh on Young's RBI groundout against Luis Rivera. But Remlinger got pinch-hitter Bruce Aven to pop out, and the Braves pushed the margin back to two runs in the eighth when pinch-runner Rafael Furcal sprinted home on a wild pitch by Jose Silva.

Atlanta went ahead in the first, leading off with three straight hits against Benson. Brian Jordan struck out with the bases loaded but Joyner made it 1-0 with a sacrifice fly.

Benson, a native of suburban Marietta, allowed seven hits, walked two and struck out four. He also started slowly last year, going 1-2 with a 5.06 ERA in April.

"I thought for the most part I put the ball where I needed to," Benson said. "It was fun pitching in front of everybody in Atlanta. I left almost 30 tickets, but I'm sure more than that showed up."

Manager Gene Lamont was encouraged by Benson's performance after three rocky starts.

"I'm sure he's going to come away from this one with a good feeling," Lamont said. "I'm not worried about Kris Benson. He's too much of a competitor to pitch poorly."

Game notes
Remlinger has retired the first hitter in all 11 of his appearances this season. ... The crowd of 41,389 was the largest at Turner Field since Opening Day. ... Wil Cordero had an embarrassing play in the fourth, dropping a fly ball by Bonilla at the edge of the warning track in left. Benson was able to pitch around the miscue. ... Galarraga came on in the eighth as a pinch-hitter. He struck out, ending his seven-game hitting streak.


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Atlanta Clubhouse

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Tampa Bay 11
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NY Mets 7
Chicago Cubs 6

(2nd game)

NY Mets 8
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Atlanta 4
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