McCann ties it in 9th, Thorman homers in 11th for Braves win


• Summary: Scott Thorman's homer in the 11th gave the Braves their second come-from-behind extra-inning win against the Phillies.


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• Turning Point: Brian McCann hit a homer off closer Tom Gordon to tie the game at 2-2 in the ninth inning.

• Hero: Thorman's solo homer in the 11th inning followed the same script as Edgar Renteria's long ball winner in the 10th on Monday.

• Unsung hero: Braves' closer Bob Wickman pitched a scoreless 11th to seal the deal.

-- news services

Braves 3, Phillies 2

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A strong outing by the starting pitcher.

Another late-inning rally against a beleaguered bullpen. Two

comeback wins in two games for the Atlanta Braves.

Scott Thorman's solo homer in the 11th inning led Atlanta to a

3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night.

Brian McCann's two-run homer off closer Tom Gordon tied it at 2 in the ninth. Thorman then connected against Ryan Madson (0-2) with one out in the 11th.

"It was great to help our pitchers out," Thorman said.

"They've been unbelievable and gave us a chance to win both


In Monday's season opener, Edgar Renteria hit a tying solo homer off starter Brett Myers in the eighth inning, and his two-run shot off Madson in the 10th gave the Braves a 5-3 win.

Macay McBride (1-0) threw one pitch, retiring Ryan Howard on a grounder to second base to leave the winning run at third in the

10th. Bob Wickman pitched a scoreless 11th for the save.

Entering the season, the Phillies' main weakness was their

bullpen. So far, the relievers have been ineffective.

Gordon had 34 saves in 39 chances and went to the All-Star game

in his first season with the Phillies, but was bothered by a sore

shoulder and faltered down the stretch. Jeff Francoeur started the ninth with a double to center. McCann then hit a liner into the right-field seats.

"Our hitting is going to pick up and we're going to win some

games," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said.

The Phillies wasted an outstanding effort by Cole Hamels, who pitched seven scoreless innings. Coming off an impressive rookie

season, Hamels struggled in spring training. The left-hander allowed nine homers in only 20 2-3 innings while posting a 6.10 ERA.

But Hamels was sharp in his first outing that counted. He

allowed just four hits, struck out eight and outdueled Tim Hudson

on a blustery night.

"You're not going to get any better pitched games than these

two," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Myers and [John] Smoltz

then these two guys."

Hudson had allowed just three runners -- two walks and one hit

batter _ before Carlos Ruiz hit a solo homer with two outs in the

fifth. Ruiz, bothered by a biceps injury late last month, drove a

1-1 pitch into the left-field seats for his fourth career homer in

his 71st at-bat.

The Phillies added an insurance run in the eighth on Shane

Victorino's RBI double off Mike Gonzalez. Jimmy Rollins walked with one out, stole second base and advanced to third on catcher

McCann's throwing error. Victorino followed with a liner into the

left-field corner to score Rollins. He was caught trying to steal

third, a costly mistake because Howard walked and Chase Utley


Howard was thrown out at the plate on a perfect relay throw from

second baseman Kelly Johnson to end the eighth after Utley's


"Terrible. Bad play," Manuel said of Victorino's steal

attempt. "He said it won't happen again."

Hudson gave up just one run and two hits in seven innings. The

Phillies had six hits overall.

Howard, who hit three homers off Hudson in a game last

September, was 0-for-2 with a walk against the veteran


Game notes
Phillies 3B Wes Helms made a throwing error on a grounder

by Matt Diaz in the second inning. Helms started just five games at

third base for Florida last year before the Phillies signed him to

be the regular third baseman. ... Fans continued to boo Pat Burrell

each time he made an out. They cheered after he singled in the