ATLANTA - Brian Jordan and Gary Sheffield are two prideful men, both confident in their ability as baseball players, eager to make a point to their respective former teams.
Sheffield did his part when he homered with two out in the ninth to tie the score. By the time Tuesday night's 16-inning marathon was finally over, it was Jordan's 4-for-7, two-home run performance that highlighted Los Angeles' 6-5 win over the Atlanta Braves. The victory was claimed by the Dodgers on Paul LoDuca's fielder's choice that scored Marquis Grissom from third.
Giovanni Carrara (2-0) got the win with four innings of scoreless relief, while Kerry Lightenberg (0-2) took the loss. Jesse Orosco pitched the 16th to earn his first save since 1999.
A Turner Field crowd of 26,914 fans witnessed the 5 hour, 19 minute saga, the longest game played by the Braves since they needed 18 innings to beat the Dodgers 5-3 in 1996.
With the game tied 4-4, Jordan's two-out homer in the ninth off Darren Holmes put Los Angeles ahead by one, setting up closer Eric Gagne for the save.
Gagne had been all put perfect in 10 previous appearances, having given up just one run and five hits in 15 innings of work. However, when the right-hander tried to groove a 1-2 fastball past Sheffield, the ball was ripped over the center-field wall, tying the game.
Sheffield had gone 81 at-bats since last homering April 4 against Philadelphia. The home run was estimated at 421 feet.
Braves starter Tom Glavine, who led the majors with a 0.93 earned run average entering Tuesday, was not his stellar self against the Dodgers, who owned a 16-15 advantage against the veteran left-hander.
Glavine gave up four earned runs on nine hits and four walks in just 5 2/3 innings before being relieved with one out in the sixth by Kevin Gryboski.
Not that he did not receive some early offensive support.
Andruw Jones saw to that when he staked Atlanta to a 3-0 cushion in the first inning on a three-run homer off Dodgers starter Hideo Nomo, a drive estimated at 431 feet. The home run was Jones' 10th this year.
Glavine couldn't make the lead stand, thanks partly to Jordan.
Traded to Los Angeles on Jan. 15 along with Odalis Perez and minor leaguer Andy Brown for Sheffield, it didn't take Jordan long to re-introduce himself to the appreciative crowd. In typical Jordan fashion, he did in grand style, homering off Glavine in the second inning to cut Atlanta's advantage to 3-2 after LoDuca doubled home Marquis Grissom for Los Angeles' first run in the first.
After the Dodgers came back to claim a 4-3 lead, Atlanta tied the game in the sixth on Vinny Castilla's infield single before Jordan's solo homer in the ninth.