Glaus' 9th-inning blast lifts Braves

Atlanta's Troy Glaus (second from left) is congratulated by his teammate Eric Hinske after hitting a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Braves their fourth win in a row.

ATLANTA --- Troy Glaus figures it was his turn for some late-game heroics.


Glaus hit a leadoff homer in the ninth inning and the Atlanta Braves beat the Kansas City Royals 5-4 on Saturday night for their fourth consecutive victory.

"Once I got to two strikes, I tried to do anything I could to get on," Glaus said. "It probably helped. It probably shortened up my swing a little bit to catch up to it."

Brian McCann also homered for the Braves, who have won 13 of 14 at home to improve to 23-7 at Turner Field. Atlanta moved 1½ games ahead of the second-place New York Mets in the NL East.

Glaus' 14th homer came off Robinson Tejeda (2-3) and gave the Braves 13 victories in their final at-bat. Though Glaus leads the NL with 55 RBI, Atlanta had yet to win on his last swing of the game.

"Every win is nice," Glaus said. "You'd like to not save them 'til the ninth inning."

Billy Wagner (5-0) pitched a scoreless ninth to earn the win.

Royals starter Zack Greinke fell behind 2-0 in the first. Chipper Jones hit an RBI single, moved to second on the throw and advanced to third on a passed ball. He scored on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's throwing error.

McCann's seventh homer, a leadoff shot in the fourth, made it 3-0.

Kansas City cut the lead to 3-2 in the fifth on Scott Podsednik's sacrifice fly and Jason Kendall's RBI groundout.

The Braves went ahead 4-2 in the sixth when Jason Heyward scored from second on Glaus' grounder. Betancourt tried to begin a double play, but Jones, who was running from first, slid hard enough to knock second baseman Mike Aviles backward onto the ground.

Seeing Aviles was getting up slowly with the ball, Heyward dashed for the plate and scored with a headfirst slide.

"I saw Chip go in hard, and (Aviles) fell down," Heyward said. "So that's when I put my head down and ran."

Eric O'Flaherty replaced Atlanta starter Kris Medlen with one out in the seventh and runners on second and third, but the Royals tied it at 4 on Podsednik's RBI groundout and Kendall's RBI single.

Greinke allowed six hits, and four runs in seven innings.

"The pitch to McCann was really bad, but that was the only one I could complain about," Greinke said.