Ross' bases-loaded infield single plates winner for Braves in 15th inning

ATLANTA -- Bobby Cox didn't try to place perspective on his 2000th career win with the Braves. He said he couldn't even remember the first nine innings of the milestone victory.

David Ross' bases-loaded infield single in the 15th inning drove in Jeff Francoeur to give the Atlanta Braves a 7-6 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in a game that lasted almost 5 hours Monday night.

Ross hit the grounder to shortstop Jack Wilson, whose throw to the third-base side of home plate pulled catcher Jason Jaramillo's foot off the plate as Francoeur scored.

"The ball beat him," said Wilson. "I could have made a better throw on that play."

Pittsburgh manager John Russell said he thought Jaramillo kept his foot on home.

"It was a tough play to end the game," Russell said. "We thought his foot was on the plate."

It was the longest game in Atlanta since the Braves beat the Astros 7-6 in 17 innings on July 7, 2008 in the longest game in Turner Field history.

The game lasted 4 hours, 46 minutes.

Cox, whose 2,355 wins overall in 28 seasons with Atlanta and Toronto rank fourth all-time, wasn't impressed by his latest milestone, which he said meant "zero."

"All it means is that you're getting old and you've been around too long," said the 68-year-old Cox, who added "I've been lucky. We've always had great players here. To get that many you have to have great players. And we have them again this year."

Cox's players celebrated for him.

"He's the best there is and we're all happy for him," said Chipper Jones, who had two hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning. "Sorry it took five hours to get it for him but I think he'll take it nonetheless."

Karstens (2-4) walked Gregor Blanco to lead off the 15th. Blanco was forced out at second on Francoeur's unsuccessful sacrifice bunt. Francoeur raced to third on Martin Prado's single to center. Karstens loaded the bases on an intentional walk to Kelly Johnson before facing Ross.

Karstens, Pittsburgh's eighth pitcher, made his first relief appearance since Sept. 25, 2007 against Tampa Bay while with the New York Yankees. He had made 31 straight starts and was listed as Wednesday's starter against the Braves.

"I don't know if I'll start; we'll have to see what happens," said Karstens, who threw 18 pitches while giving up two hits and a run.

Rookie Kris Medlen (2-2), Atlanta's eighth pitcher, earned the win with three scoreless innings in his first relief appearance. He made three starts before moving to the bullpen when the Braves called up Tommy Hanson.

After Peter Moylan blew a 6-3 lead by giving up three runs in the seventh, Atlanta's final six relievers threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings.

Brian McCann hit a two-run homer and Nate McLouth had three hits, including a homer, against his former team. The outfielder was traded to Atlanta last week.

Andrew McCutchen had four hits, including two triples and a double, for Pittsburgh.

McLouth had a first-inning single, a fifth-inning homer -- his first with the Braves and 10th of the season -- and a sixth-inning single. McLouth then stole second -- also his 10th -- and scored on a single by Yunel Escobar.

The trade cleared the way for the Pirates to promote McCutchen, who has seven hits in his last two games.

McCutchen's 11th-inning double followed a walk to Craig Monroe, but Monroe was thrown out at the plate on Yunel Escobar's relay throw from Blanco.

Jones' streak of reaching base in eight straight plate appearances ended with his seventh-inning groundout.

Zach Duke, who allowed only four homers in his first 11 starts, gave up three homers in six innings to the Braves.

Kenshin Kawakami gave up four hits and three runs in six innings.

Game notes
The last Pittsburgh player with two triples in a game was Tike Redman against Colorado on Aug. 1, 2003. ... Wilson was back in the lineup after missing one game with a sore shoulder.