Originally created 08/05/96

Braves 6, Dodgers 4



LOS ANGELES (AP) - Fred McGriff, probably more than any of the Atlanta Braves, couldn't wait for this marathon road trip to end.

Until he broke out of his slump with four singles and scored the winning run in the ninth inning of Sunday's 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, the All-Star first baseman was hitting only .177 with one home run since the team embarked on its Olympics induced, 17-game trip.

"He picked a good time to show up," said Chipper Jones. "He's been struggling, but you can't keep a good hitter down. I mean, he's a lifetime .280, .290 hitter and he's going to hit you 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. "He got down to that .290 mark. But hopefully this will kind of steady him a little bit and he'll go back to playing good, solid baseball."

The Braves finished their 20-day, 6,493-mile excursion with a 9-8 record and a six-game lead in the National League East. Now that the Olympics are finishing in Atlanta, they can't wait to get home.

"The last five or six days, you could see we were starting to play some sloppy games," Braves starter Tom Glavine said. "That's a sign of a team that's tired. Now we can go home, get some good sleep, unpack and get reacquainted with our white uniforms for awhile."

Manager Bobby Cox sounded like he's looking forward to home, too.

"We all need to get home," he said. "I think everybody's brains are about fried, and we're physically beat up. We had an extremely tough series here, and it wreaks havoc with you, mentally and physically."

McGriff singled with one out against Mark Guthrie (2-2) and continued to second when rightfielder Raul Mondesi bobbled the ball. McGriff took third on Ryan Klesko's single and came around when Wayne Kirby misplayed the ball.

Pinch-runner Rafael Belliard scored an insurance run on a throwing error by third baseman Juan Castro on Pedro Borbon's first major league hit.

Borbon (2-0) pitched 1 2-3 innings for the victory, and Mark Wohlers finished for his 27th save.

"It's nice to know that the next place you're going to be spending the night is in your own bed and not in another hotel," said Wohlers, whose wife Nancy is expecting the couple's first child.

Tom Prince gave the Dodgers a 4-3 lead in the seventh, pushing a bunt past the right side of the mound to score Kirby. But it didn't last.

Javy Lopez led off the eighth with a single against Darren Dreifort, moved up on Mark Lemke's single and scored on Mark Whiten's sacrifice fly.

"You have to give them credit for playing as well as they did after being on the road for such a long time," Billy Ashley said. "But they are the defending world champions, and they play that way."

Glavine and Hideo Nomo battled into the sixth with the score tied 2-2, before Atlanta took a 3-2 lead on Ed Giovanola's sacrifice fly. Glavine scored the run after a leadoff double to left.

Giovanola's error on Mondesi's grounder allowed the Dodgers to pull even again at 3-3 in the sixth.

Glavine went 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs, six hits and six walks. He also struck out six. Nomo lasted seven innings, allowing three runs and nine hits. He struck out seven and walked four.

Atlanta took a 2-0 lead on Lemke's bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the second inning and an RBI single by Klesko in the fifth. Los Angeles tied it in the bottom of the fifth on a walk, an RBI double by Eric Karros off the top of the right field wall and Ashley's run-scoring single.

Glavine and Nomo each escaped bases-loaded jams in the third after walking three batters. Nomo escaped his by striking out Dye, who is 0-for-6 lifetime in bases-loaded situations with five strikeouts. Glavine emerged unscathed when he caught Mike Busch looking at a 3-2 pitch.

"We did have quite a few walks and guys on base. Those are the kind of situations we have to take advantage of, and we didn't do that very well today," Ashley said.Notes: Tom Candiotti, on the disabled list with a contusion on his right elbow, will begin a rehab assignment Tuesday with the Dodgers' Class-A farm club in San Bernardino. ... Mike Piazza, who caught 14 of the 18 innings Saturday, got the day off. ... Giovanola's miscue ended a six-game errorless streak by the Braves, two shy of the franchise record set in 1972 and tied in 1992.