ATLANTA (AP) -- Russ Ortiz felt a little more confident when he
saw the opponent.
Damon Hollins had a career-high three RBI with just one hit,
while Johnny Estrada went 3-for-3 with a walk and scored three
Ortiz improved to 12-2 against the Padres in his career.
"I knew I was pitching against them, and I knew I had done well
against them," he said. "You get a little more confident. It
The Braves played at Turner Field for the first time in 16 days
following their longest road trip this season. They didn't make an
error after being charged with seven -- tying a team record -- in
Sunday's game at Colorado.
Ortiz (3-3) bounced back from his worst start of the season to
allow just four hits, coming out after Jay Payton walked with one
out in the seventh. Kevin Gryboski ended any thoughts of a comeback
by getting Ramon Hernandez to hit into a double play.
John Smoltz pitched the ninth for his first save since April 17,
despite giving up two hits and throwing a wild pitch that allowed a
run to score. It was his fourth save overall.
Ortiz had given up seven runs in 3 1-3 innings in his last
outing, a 10-7 loss at San Francisco. He was determined to be more
aggressive -- even if meant getting a tongue-lashing from Estrada,
"I told him to stay on me," Ortiz said. "Get on my case if
you need to. Give me a kick in the rear end. I need that
Hollins, called up from the minors last week when utilityman Eli
Marrero went on the disabled list, started in place of Chipper
Jones, also on the DL.
Hollins is back for his second stint with the Braves after
playing with four other organizations. Approaching his 30th
birthday, he's still a rookie, a guy still trying to make his mark.
Going 1-for-3, Hollins managed to eclipse his previous career
best of two RBI in a 1998 game for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He
drove in two runs with infield grounders.
"When you come up in a situation with runners at second and
third and less than two outs, you just want to hit the ball
somewhere," Hollins said. "They're giving you the RBI."
The injury-plagued Braves were missing three regulars. Shortstop
Rafael Furcal didn't start because of a jammed finger, though he
was able to pinch hit. Outfielder J.D. Drew was also scratched
because of a sore neck.
"We're battling," Estrada said. "This was a big win for us."
Atlanta made it 3-0 in the fourth, taking advantage of a
throwing error by third baseman Sean Burroughs. Hollins drove in
another run with an out, grounding into a force at second with the
bases loaded. Jesse Garcia, filling in for Furcal, followed with an
During the fourth, LaRoche loaded the bases with probably the
longest single of the season. He hit a drive off the center-field
wall -- right next to the 400-foot sign -- but Estrada lingered near
second, thinking the ball might be caught. The slow-running catcher
only got as far as third base, forcing Andruw Jones and LaRoche to
scramble back to their respective bases.
"I told Adam I didn't think he could hit the ball that far,"
"Johnny is leading the team in RBI," LaRoche responded in
jest. "He wants to protect his lead. Smart move."
Eaton played with Estrada in the Phillies' minor league system.
"He has hit everywhere he's been, so I'm not surprised he's
hitting now," Eaton said.
San Diego scored its only run in the sixth on Mark Loretta's
two-out single, but the Braves got the run back in the bottom half
on Hollins' third RBI -- a single up the middle with two outs that
brought home Estrada.
Only two of the four runs off Eaton were earned, but he wasn't
happy with the way he pitched during his seven-inning stint.
"From a numbers standpoint, I pitched pretty good," he said.
"From an execution standpoint, it wasn't very good."
The Padres, one of baseball's most surprising teams the first
month, lost their second in a row after a six-game winning streak.
Atlanta went 5-7 on its 12-game road trip, which stretched from
one end of the country to the other.
San Diego began a stretch in which they will play 19 of 25
games on the road. ... Estrada's three hits tied a career high.
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