Foul pop is undoing for D-Backs in 11th

PHOENIX (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves are playing so well they can

win a game on a pop foul.

Rafael Furcal's popup beyond first base led to two runs in the

11th inning, and the Braves beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4 on


"Sometimes you hit line drives at them and don't score, and

sometimes you hit popups and win,'' Atlanta manager Bobby Cox said

after his team finished its road trip 5-1.

The Braves have won seven of eight overall and 16 of their last

19 after a 4-8 start.

With the bases loaded, one out and the score tied at 4 in the

11th, Furcal popped up behind first base. Mark Grace and second

baseman Junior Spivey collided as Grace made the catch.

Darren Bragg tagged and scored from third on the sacrifice fly,

and Grace's wild throw home bounced into the Arizona dugout for an

error that allowed Vinny Castilla to score from second.

"It was an interesting play,'' Atlanta's John Smoltz said.

"Clipping on Spivey, but this is the type of baseball we've been

playing. We probably should have won yesterday and we probably

shouldn't have won today's game, so they even out. But it was a

great road trip nonetheless.''

Bragg said he knew he was going to try to tag as soon as Furcal

hit the ball.

"It's a tough play for the first baseman, going back like that,

so I figured with one out you've got to give it a shot,'' Bragg


Grace blamed himself, even though a good throw probably wouldn't

have gotten the lead runner. He downplayed the impact the collision

had on the play.

"That's not an excuse,'' Grace said. "I've got to catch that

ball, come up and put it on the button, and I didn't. I'll take

full responsibility.''

Marcus Giles added an RBI single to make it 7-4. Smoltz, who

blew his first save in 28 appearances Friday night, pitched the

11th for his major league-best 12th save. Trey Hodges (1-0) worked

a scoreless 10th for the victory.

Chris Capuano (0-1) threw a perfect 10th in his major league

debut, but walked Bragg and Castilla to start the 11th. Henry Blanco sacrificed, and an intentional walk to Julio Franco loaded

the bases to set up the unusual finish.

Arizona manager Bob Brenly thought Capuano pitched well,

considering the circumstances.

"That's a tough situation to be in,'' Brenly said, "an

extra-inning game against the Atlanta Braves. For a first time out,

I know the results weren't what he was hoping for but I wasn't

upset at all with the way he threw the ball.''

The story for Arizona was the same as it's been most of the


"We had plenty of opportunities to win that ballgame way before

he came in the game,'' Brenly said, "and once again we just

couldn't cash them in.''

Spivey and Luis Gonzalez hit consecutive home runs off Greg

Maddux to start the third inning and give Arizona a 4-1 lead.

The Braves tied it with three runs off Diamondbacks starter

Elmer Dessens in the sixth. Chipper Jones doubled, then Andruw Jones hit his eighth home run of the season, and second of the

series, to make it 4-3.

Robert Fick followed with a double and scored on Blanco's

two-out double, his second RBI of the game.

Cox was ejected by plate umpire Tony Randazzo after a

half-inning. It was the third time the Braves' skipper has been

tossed this season and second on the road trip. Cox lasted slightly

longer than Brenly did Saturday night. He was ejected after three

batters and no outs in the top of the first.

A fielding error by Furcal at shortstop led to two unearned

Arizona runs in the first.

Walks to Andruw Jones and Castilla followed by Blanco's two-out

RBI single cut the lead to 2-1 in the second.

Spivey, who started the season 3-for-45, homered for the third

time in three games.

Capuano and Scott Service, who pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings,

arrived an hour before the game from Edmonton after being called up

from Triple-A Tucson. Capuano's appearance came exactly one year

after he injured his pitching elbow and had to undergo "Tommy

John'' surgery.

They were summoned because Arizona placed pitchers Byung Hyun-Kim and Stephen Randolph on the 15-day disabled list.

Game notes

Atlanta has won nine of 10 on the road. ... Andruw Jones

leads the NL with 31 RBI. ... Gary Sheffield missed the entire

three-game series to attend the funeral of his wife's grandmother

in Chicago. ... The Diamondbacks' Steve Finley hit his 100th career

triple with one out in the eighth but did not score.