Originally created 05/22/01

Braves top Marlins, 5-3



MIAMI -- It will be hard for the Braves to say good-bye to Andruw Jones, whose contract demands make him trade bait following the season.

Give him another 10 years and he'll probably be included among the best center fielders in baseball history.

But while they still have Jones, the Braves will take advantage of his bat, which produced two home runs and four RBI Monday night in a 5-3 win over the Florida Marlins at Pro Player Stadium, a victory that improved their record to 22-23, the closest they have been to .500 since April 28.

"He was a wrecking crew tonight," manager Bobby Cox said of Jones, who had three hits in a second straight game.

"Andruw was the only guy (Marlins loser Matt Clement) couldn't get out," third baseman Chipper Jones said. "Tonight was Andruw's night."

Tom Glavine, who's been bothered by pain in his left shoulder and was uncertain whether he'd make the start, benefited from Jones' resurgence, taking his first win since April 28 by allowing just Mike Redmond's home run in seven innings.

"It's been an aggravation, more than a concern," said Glavine of his shoulder, which is being treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. "Sometimes it feels fine and sometimes it doesn't. It's been a struggle at times to do the things I want to do out there. The way my shoulder felt made it a lot easier to go out and be aggressive."

Glavine (5-2) gave up five hits, did not walk a batter for the first time in 10 starts this season, and threw 97 pitches, 62 for strikes. He gave way to Jason Marquis, who got one out in the eighth, then was bailed out by John Rocker.

With the tying run on first base, Rocker struck out pinch hitter Charles Johnson to end the threat, then endured another Pepto-Bismol ninth, walking Redmond before setting down the final three batters for his 12th save.

"It's a big deal for us as a team because we've won our last two series and we want to continue doing that," said Glavine, who had no-decisions in his previous two starts. "This gives us a chance to win three in a row, which we haven't done yet."

Andruw Jones, who batted .227 (5 for 22) on the last road trip, has done most of his damage at home. He hit .346 against the Rockies and Giants on last week's homestand, and had gone deep in three of his last four games.

Jones, who homered against Clement in the first, produced a 2-1 lead with a two-out single in the third, scoring Rafael Furcal, who started the inning with a single.

That was the sum of the Braves' offense until Jones reached the plate in the sixth. He followed Quilvio Veras' single with a 386-foot drive into the right field seats to make it 4-1, the 11th multi-homer game of his career and his sixth hit in his last seven at-bats.

"I've got an idea of what the pitchers are doing right now," said Jones, who tacked 11 points onto his average and is now batting .281. "I have an idea what the scouting report is on me. Throw breaking pitches away. But it's hard for a pitcher to keep throwing the same pitch down and away over and over.

"I'm just looking for pitches away and if I like them, I swing, and I don't let the umpire frustrate me."

Chipper Jones, mired in an 0 for 10 skid, then delivered a double against the left field scoreboard, and a walk to Brian Jordan ushered Clement (2-4) from the game.

The carnage continued. Dave Martinez, the club's hottest hitter, greeted Ricky Bones with a run-scoring single, and it was 5-1. That was enough for Glavine. If not for Redmond, he would have delivered seven flawless innings.

If Redmond hit the rest of the National League as well as he hits Glavine, he'd be on his way to Cooperstown. The fourth-year catcher entered the game batting .640 (16 for 25) against the two-time Cy Young winner and his only home run this season came against him on April 8.

Redmond hit his second home run to put the Marlins on the board in the bottom of the second. That gave him two career home runs against Glavine; against the rest of the NL he has three in 575 at-bats.

"It's kind of amazing," Glavine said. "You figure once in awhile he'll get a pitch to hit and miss it, but so far, he hasn't."

That was the last spot of trouble Glavine encountered. He set down 13 of 15 hitters until Kevin Millar's double against the teal scoreboard in left started the bottom of the seventh.

Glavine, who had lost nine of 12 career decisions here, slipped out of the jam by inducing ground balls from Derrek Lee and Redmond, and whiffing Alex Gonzalez.

Reach Bill Zack at bzack30143@aol.com.