ATLANTA (AP) -- Chipper Jones was ready to go home, so he looked
for a pitch he could drive into the seats.
"I wasn't swinging for a single, I'll tell you that,'' he said
after the Braves bounced back from an 11-inning loss to the Reds on
Chris Reitsma (3-2) started Jones with a curve, which he took
for a ball. The cleanup hitter knew what to expect next.
"His best pitch is the change,'' Jones said. "He loves to go
at big guys who can hurt him a lot with the offspeed stuff. After
he threw the curve on the first pitch, I figured 1-0 was the
perfect opportunity for him to throw the changeup. I was sitting on
Jones sent a drive into the right-field seats for his eighth
homer of the season. Reitsma squatted on the mound in disbelief as
the ball landed some 400 feet away.
"It was not a very good pitch,'' he said. "It's frustrating
when you can't get the job done.''
Trey Hodges (2-0) escaped a jam in the top half of the 10th
after second baseman Mark DeRosa's error let the leadoff man get
on. Austin Kearns struck out with a runner at third and Sean Casey
grounded out with the bases loaded to end the inning.
Hodges, a minor league starter, is emerging as one of Atlanta's
most effective pitchers out of the bullpen. He has a 2.13 ERA in 17
"I'm flashing back to college at LSU when I pitched three times
out of the bullpen in the College World Series,'' Hodges said.
"It's a pretty big role. I like it. ... Anything they throw my
way, I'll be ready to adapt and give it a try.''
The Reds did not have a hit after the third inning and finished
with only four hits overall.
Cincinnati lost for the first time in 10 games this season when
tied after eight innings.
Braves closer John Smoltz worked a scoreless ninth, once again
pitching in a game won by the Braves. On Monday, his record streak
of pitching in 73 straight games won by Atlanta ended with an 7-6,
11-inning loss to the Reds.
Braves starter Shane Reynolds got off to a miserable start, but
it could have been much worse. He allowed the first four hitters to
reach base, including a walk to Kearns with the bases loaded. Aaron
Boone then popped to short, and Casey grounded into an
inning-ending double play.
With the Braves down 2-0, Vinny Castilla led off the bottom half
of the third with his ninth homer, a drive to left that barely
cleared the wall. The third baseman has six homers in his last 10
In the fourth, Reynolds helped himself at the plate with a
two-out, run-scoring single that slipped under the glove of
shortstop Felipe Lopez. It was the pitcher's first hit in 22
at-bats this season.
Reynolds went six innings, struggling with his control but
limiting the Reds to four hits and two runs. He walked five and
threw only 48 of 90 pitches for strikes.
"I made a couple of real good pitches in tough situations,''
Reynolds said. "After the first couple of innings, I kind of got
in a groove.''
Reds starter Jimmy Haynes went five innings after being
activated from the disabled list earlier in the day. He had been
sidelined since April 17 with a bulging disc in his back.
"My back felt fine,'' Haynes said. "It probably will be sore
(Wednesday), but it feels good right now.''
Haynes, who came into the game at 0-4 with 12.74 ERA, gave up
seven hits and two runs.
Atlanta second baseman Marcus Giles was hit just above the left
elbow with a pitch in the fifth. Giles finished out the inning, but
was replaced by DeRosa when the Braves took the field in the sixth.
X-rays were negative, and Giles was day-to-day.
A three-man crew worked the game after Terry Craft went down
with kidney stones. Craft, who was supposed to call balls and
strikes, was replaced behind the plate by Marty Foster. If Craft
can't come back Wednesday, a substitute umpire will be brought in
to bring the crew up to full strength. ... Kent Mercker worked a
scoreless sixth for the Reds. The left-hander was the last Atlanta
pitcher to have a no-hitter, beating Los Angeles on April 8, 1994.
... Cincinnati starters have gone 12 straight games without a win
since Danny Graves tossed a 4-0 shutout at St. Louis. ... Braves OF
Andruw Jones singled in the second, giving him 999 career hits. He
also has reached base in 34 consecutive games.
Phillies lose 5th straight, Cubs sweep season series 6-0
— The Phillies lost their fifth straight game and dropped into a tie for the National League's final wild card berth as the Chicago Cubs swept the season series from Philadelphia with a 2-0 victory on Thursday.
Ian Happ makes terrific sliding catch in the 9th
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Toronto Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Baltimore Orioles' loss to Boston Red Sox
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Castro, Báez homer, Tigers sweep Royals 10-3, escape cellar
— Willi Castro and Javy Báez homered to lead Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 10-3 on Thursday for a three-game sweep that moved the Tigers out of last place in the AL Central.
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