Andruw Jones' shot erases Smoltz's blown save

PHOENIX (AP) -- Not even a rare blown save by John Smoltz can

slow down the Atlanta Braves right now.

Curt Schilling has been stunned of late over his lack of success.
Curt Schilling has been stunned of late over his lack of success.

Andruw Jones homered with two outs in the 13th inning Tuesday

night to give the Braves a 4-3 victory over the Arizona

Diamondbacks despite Smoltz's first blown save since May 29.

"I'm glad the game was over, because I was starting to get a

little tired,'' Jones said after the game took 4 hours, 34 minutes.

"I'm ready to go back to the hotel and sleep.''

After Arizona's Curt Schilling failed for the second time to get

his 19th victory, Jones hit Mike Koplove's first pitch 414 feet

into the second deck just inside the left-field foul pole as the

Braves won their seventh straight in the opener of a series

matching the NL's top two teams.

"He made a mistake and left a slider out over the plate,''

Jones said, "and I took care of it.''

Koplove (3-1) retired his first five batters before Jones hit

his 24th homer of the season on the first pitch.

"That was a heck of a ballgame,'' Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. "That's exactly what you expect when you get the best team in baseball against the defending world champions, and neither team wants to lose.''

Kerry Ligtenberg (3-3) pitched two scoreless innings for the

victory, retiring Craig Counsell on a liner to second with a runner

at third to end it.

Smoltz entered in the ninth with a 3-1 lead and a club-record

string of 25 consecutive saves. His 39 saves -- in 43 opportunities

-- leads the majors.

Junior Spivey singled with one out, his fourth hit of the game,

before Smoltz struck out Luis Gonzalez.

Erubiel Durazo, who singled in Arizona's first run in the third

inning, smashed a 2-2 pitch off the center-field wall -- just below

the home run line -- to drive in Spivey and make it 3-2.

Quinton McCracken followed with an RBI double to deep

left-center that tied it. Jones blamed himself for playing too

shallow in center field.

"The game should have been over a lot earlier,'' Jones said. "I made a mistake trying to cheat in with McCracken, and he hit the ball over my head.''

Matt Franco drove in three runs for Atlanta, the last two with a

double that ended Schilling's night. He would have scored Atlanta's

fourth run easily in the eighth but slipped and fell between third

and home and was tagged out by catcher Chad Moeller.

"We've been picking each other up,'' Smoltz said. "I knew Matt

felt terrible slipping coming around third. I felt terrible coming

off in the ninth, and then guys picked us up. Our bullpen was great

from the sixth inning to the 13th, with the exception of the


Rafael Furcal tied a career-high with four hits and scored

twice. His leadoff bunt double in the sixth led to Atlanta's first


Schilling struck out 11 while throwing a season-high 131 pitches

in 7 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs on seven hits. Schilling

threw a complete game at Montreal last Thursday but lost 2-1 on

Vladimir Guerrero's game-winning home run.

Henry Blanco walked to start the eighth, the first base on balls

Schilling has allowed in three starts. Furcal followed with a

single, and Franco doubled both home to put Atlanta up 3-1.

The Diamondbacks were coming off a four-game sweep of the Mets

in New York and had won 12 of 14.

Leading off the sixth, Furcal squared to bunt, then punched the

ball hard past a charging Counsell at third for a leadoff double.

"I've seen him do that I don't know how many times,'' Braves

manager Bobby Cox said as he lit a cigar in the clubhouse. "He

told me he was going to do it before he went up there.''

Franco followed with an RBI single to make it 1-1.

Game notes
Right-hander Rick Helling -- sidelined with a sprained right ankle -- will be activated from the 15-day DL in time to start for Arizona on Wednesday against Atlanta's Greg Maddux. ... Jones' diving catch robbed Tony Womack of a single in the sixth. ... Gonzalez was 0-for-6 with three strikeouts. ... It was Arizona's 11th sellout crowd of the season.